Preparing for a Full-Service Move Checklist

Preparing for a Full-Service MoveFull-service movers take care of virtually everything from packing up your belongings, loading them on to a truck, transporting them to your final destination, unloading all the boxes, unpacking all the items, and even putting the majority away.  Although pricey, this is certainly an extremely helpful service that most people greatly benefit from utilizing.  Although, the term full-service is very adequate in explaining the extent of their duties, do not think that you are off the hook entirely after enlisting their help.

Moving Inventory: To protect yourself from theft and guard against damage, make sure to compose a list of all the items the movers will be taking.  The more detail, the better, so upon arriving at your new home, you can be present during the unpacking process and actively check off each item as it is unloaded.

Because there is a good chance that you may arrive at your final destination before your belongings, pack a box or bag of necessities to transport yourself.  Essentials should include- any prescription medications taken regularly, toiletries, cell phone charger, a couple changes of clean clothes, first-aid kit, snacks, and water.  You may also consider including valuable jewelry, passports, medical records, financial statements, or any other items that you would not want to lose.  You should, of course, also travel with your wallet or purse, plus some emergency cash for any incidentals.

Purge Unnecessary Items: A big move, or even a small one, for that matter, is a great chance to downsize your belongings, and only transport essentials.  Not only will it save you money by having less to transport, you will no longer have items gathering dust or clothes that no longer fit taking up excess space.  Consider donating useable items to the Salvation Army or Goodwill for valuable tax deductions, or even selling unneeded valuables if you would prefer the cash.

Prep Your Home: To potentially save on costs, you should consider breaking down furniture that can be disassembled prior to the movers arriving.  To save on time, make sure all walkways are cleared, and that there are no hazards in areas that the movers will need to be accessing throughout the process.  This can include getting your pets out of the house prior the movers’ arrival.  An animal underfoot could be dangerous and the liability will most likely fall on you as the homeowner.

Obtain Insurance: If you have done your due diligence and hired a reputable moving company, you should feel safe in the knowledge that they will do a good job ensuring your items make it to their final destination in great condition.  However, there is always the possibility that something may be lost or damaged in the move, and the insurance that comes standard in most professional movers’ contracts may not cover the full value of your possessions.  If this is the case, consider purchasing additional insurance, which should help give you peace of mind.  Of course, make sure that your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t already include moving insurance, as there is no point in being double-insured.

By following these simple steps for preparation, moving day can easily go off without a hitch, especially with the help of a highly qualified team of professional movers by your side.


Image Courtesy: / Stuart Miles

Financial Assistance Moving to Another State

moving financial assistanceMoving is almost always expensive, stressful, and time-consuming, but it is more often than not, a necessary evil.  Whether it is time for an upgrade, a downsize, or a new opportunity, moving may be the only viable choice, regardless of cost.  The good news is that there are a variety of options to obtain financial aid to assist in the moving process.  If one of the following scenarios applies to you, be sure to do your research and take advantage of the benefit completely, to minimize your own out-of-pocket expense.

New Job or Promotion

If you are in high demand and needed in a different state for your current company or recruited and selected by a new company, many employers will offer a RELO, or relocation, package which will dictate a moving allowance.  This package will help pay for movers, security deposits, utilities, and sometimes even hotel stays needed during the move.  Depending on the company, this may be a lump sum that will be entrusted to you to use as you may need (backed by receipts and invoices of course), or it may be set-up as a reimbursement program.  If it is the latter option, you will still be responsible for coming out of pocket for all of the initial expenses, but upon submitting a claim form, along with proper documentation, you will be reimbursed up to a certain limit as dictated by your company.  Many companies offer attractive RELO packages to entice prospective job seekers, but remember to do your own research prior to accepting based on this incentive alone.  If the location you will be moved to is much more expensive than where you currently reside, your salary may not allow you to live comfortably, and would therefore negate the initial RELO appeal.

Natural Disaster

new home after moveIf you are unlucky enough to lose a home to natural disaster, you may be able to receive financial assistance from the Federal Relocation Assistance Program.  This benefit only applies to homeowners and comes in the form of a grant which will help with moving expenses and deposits for a home similar to the one from which they were displaced.  To qualify for financial assistance as a renter, you must be homeless or in danger of becoming homeless, in which case, you can appeal to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program.
Finally, if neither of the previous scenarios apply to you, other ways of raising moving expenses are out there.  One of the most popular and lucrative options is simply selling your own unwanted items.  Not only does it help lighten your load during the actual move, but it can put some quick cash in your pocket to help offset moving costs.  An old-fashioned garage or yard sale can do the trick, but it may be in your best interest to take advantage of some online channels, such as eBay or craigslist to sell some more collectible or high-dollar items.


Image Courtesy: / Stuart Miles and hywards

Preparing Child for a Move

Guide to Create a Budget for Your Move

Moving is stressful enough, but moving with kids can take the stress level to an entirely different level.  It is important that your final destination/new home be located in a good neighborhood, with safe and accessible recreation options, plus in-district or near decent schools.  Sometimes, it can even be beneficial to find a desirable school in the area and work backward to find a house near that specific location prior to moving.

There are more options for schooling than ever before, and it helps if you can at least narrow down the type of school that would be the best match for your child.  Private and public are two common options from which to choose, but independent and charter schools have also been gaining in popularity more recently. Once you have determined the best classification of schooling for your child or children, visit the school websites of those located in your desired neighborhood to get a rudimentary understanding of the school’s policy and procedures.  If you like what the school has to offer, you will want to follow up with determining the education quality and student performance.  There are many educational websites that can provide you with standardized test scores and even rankings that may aid your decision.  If class size is an important determining factor, find out the ratio of students to teachers, and see if it conforms to your standards.  Sports and extracurricular activities may also be important to your family, so be sure to research what options are offered to ensure your child’s needs are met.

Guide to Create a Budget for Your Move

Finally, if you feel like you have found a good match, set up a phone or webcam meeting with the principal.  A lot can be garnered from an actual meeting of sorts during which your specific questions are answered personally.  This is also a good time to follow up on finding information that was not listed on the school’s website.  Many people like to take this time to find out about security measures and what is done to ensure student’s safety while in school.

If you do have the opportunity to visit the school with your child, definitely take advantage of a tour.  Because your child will be the one actually spending time there, a visit can help to support and reinforce your decision, as well as let your child feel more comfortable in the new surroundings on his/her first day of school.  It will also allow you to view the chemistry between teachers and students, and know what to expect once your child does begin to attend.

Finally, making a move that benefits your child should not be ALL about academics.  Check out the neighborhood you are considering and make sure there is a bevy of accessible options for recreation prior to committing.  Local parks can appeal to kids of all ages, provided they are well-maintained and safe.  Shopping malls and restaurants also offer safe destinations to convene for teenagers, and can provide a welcome respite for family outings.  Above all, listen to your child!  Moving is not only hard on you, so you must take into account the rest of the family’s feelings when determining a location.


Image Courtesy: / digitalart