Even the smallest home contains a lot of furniture, clothes, kitchen equipment, pictures and other items. For a short move, it may be worthwhile to transport small goods by yourself, but larger items will likely require a professional mover.
How do you plan a move?
The time to plan your move begins once you've decided to sell your home. Some of the activities required to sell the home can actually help with the moving process.
For example, cleaning out closets, basements and attics means there will be less to do once the home is under contract.
Your planning will be guided by a number of things:
Are you moving a long distance? If yes, you'll likely require an interstate mover and the use of a large van.
Moving internationally. Contact the embassy in Washington, D.C., for information. Be aware that items which may be entirely common in the United States can be prohibited in foreign countries. Ask about customs protocols, duties and taxes.
Moving locally? If yes, will you move yourself? You'll need to consider packing boxes, peanuts, blankets or padding and a van rental.
Planning is key. Stock up on boxes, packing materials, tape and markers. Always mark boxes so that movers will know where goods should be placed.
Who should you use?
There are a number of factors to consider. Money is one issue: You'll want to spend as little as possible, but choosing only on the basis of cost can be a mistake. Movers must have the right equipment, training and experience to do a good job.
A mover, no matter how large or small, should be able to provide recent references for home sellers with a similar volume of goods to transport.
Get mover estimates in writing.
Always confirm mover credentials. Movers should be licensed and bonded as required in your state, and employees should have workman's comp insurance.
Get a checklist.
Moving is a big job and checklists can make it more organized and easier. Here are some of the major items to consider:
Money. If you're moving more than a few miles then you should have enough cash or credit to cover travel, food, transportation and lodging.
Medicine. Keep medicines and related prescriptions in a place where they will be available during the move.
Number boxes so that all items can be counted on arrival. Make a list of boxes by number and indicate their contents.
If moving with children, make sure that each has a favorite toy or toys, blankets, games, music and other goods.
Moving historic, breakable or valued items? Such goods routinely require special handling and packaging.
Have address books readily available in case you need help.