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Moving Day: The Six Deadly Sins

Moving day is stressful enough and it can be even more stressful by making more common mistakes.

Relocation's Karen Tooley, a 30-year veteran of the moving industry and a certified moving consultant, offers up these tidbits of advice so you don't make them.  

1.  Don't Skip the Final Walk-Through After Your Stuff's Loaded.
To make sure the movers have loaded everything you want moved, Tooley recommends a final walk-through of your old home before the mover leaves.  It can be very expensive to have any items that were left behind shipped. "The movers will probably ask you to walk through and check, but if they do not, you should do so prior to signing their inventories and bill of lading."

The bill of lading is essentially your receipt for the move, acknowledging that you've handed over your goods to the movers. When you sign the documents, you are stating that the movers have loaded everything that you want shipped. "The moving company is not liable for items left behind," says Tooley.

She recalls one family that had a storage area for all of their holiday decorations that went overlooked during the craziness of move day. They ended up spending an extra $400 to get them shipped later.

2. Carefully Check the Moving Inventory.
This document is proof that items that were packed from your residence made it on the moving truck. Go through this document carefully and make sure that you verify that everything was packed and put on the truck. When your items arrive at your new home, review the inventory to make sure everything found its way to your new home.

3.  Keep Necessities With You.
Once the truck is loaded up, you won't be able to get any of your items, so make sure you have anything you'll need before you unpack your boxes, and set these items aside in a place where the movers won't accidentally pack them.

Such items include a suitable amount of clothing (always budget for a bit more in case the moving truck is late); cosmetics, toiletries, prescription drugs, electronics like a cell phone and a charger – as a general rule, if you use it daily, bring it.

4.   Don't Have Kids or Pets at Home During the Move.
It's a common mistake to allow your children and pets to linger around the home during the move. If you have no one to watch them, designate an area of the home where they can be comfortable and safe, and out of the way. "Accidents can happen when children are in the area -- when a mover is carrying your furniture, they cannot see children clearly," Tooley says.  
5. Don't Let Movers Transport Precious Goods.
Even though you have probably insured most of your items, you should still personally transport the belongings most precious to you.  Items such as picture albums, personal documents, financial information, jewelry, artwork, and other sentimental items cannot be replaced. It's just not worth the risk having someone else carry these items for you.

6. Treat Your Movers With Respect.
Your movers will be loading your possessions onto a truck, driving them hundreds of miles, and then unloading them in your new home. Treat them with respect. Being a mover is a tough job – it combines heavy physical strain with the need for a gentle touch. Nothing changes the likelihood your move won't go well than treating your movers badly.

Your Next Move:

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In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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