Whether you’re moving to a bigger home, downsizing, or taking a new job – it’s an exciting and stressful time. With careful planning, research, and patience you can take the stress out of a move. Here’s the ultimate Kansas City moving guide, so you can move like a pro!
1. DIY vs. professional movers
When you’re moving to a new home, you can DIY or hire a professional moving company. For a local move, some people only hire professionals for the big stuff like beds, couches, and dressers. Think about the best strategy for your family.
A moving calculator, like the one offered by Realtor®.com, gives you an estimate of how much to budget for a professional mover. You can even get several quotes with the click of a button.
Most moving truck rental companies offer similar calculators so you can calculate how much the move will cost whether you do it yourself or hire a professional.
If you do it yourself, don’t forget to consider gas and time. Moving trucks take more gas than a regular car, and your time is valuable. Consider those expenses when comparing the costs of a professional or DIY move.
Ask family and friends for moving company suggestions. Also, talk with your Realtor®. They have an extensive network of service providers they work with and are a great resource in the community.
Then, research the mover with consumer groups like the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and Facebook.
Take all complaints with a grain of salt. Sometimes there’s just an unhappy customer. There are always two sides to every story. The complaints give you a good idea of what to expect, though.
If you’re making an out of state move, research your moving company with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
If you’re moving within Kansas City, contact me for recommendations. We work with people moving all the time, so we can help you out.
2. Get three quotes
Moving costs vary dramatically. Get three quotes, and you’ll see what I mean. Some companies charge per room, and others charge by the hour. It’s a personal decision which you choose. If you get three quotes, you’re sure to find a company that makes you comfortable.
While online moving calculators and quotes give you a budget baseline, make sure the company you hire inspects your home first. You don’t want disappointment or a surprise fee on moving day for having more furniture or boxes than the mover expected.
3. Buy moving insurance
So many families skip the insurance. It’s critical in a move, no matter the distance. If you the movers damage a $500 light, you may get just a few bucks for it if it’s lightweight. It depends on how much it weighs. The typical payout is 60-cents a pound, for items damaged during a move where there’s not a supplemental moving insurance policy.
If you buy moving insurance, which isn’t that expensive, you’ll get replacement cost for that item.
Also, check with your insurance company to see if your standard homeowners or rental policy covers the move. It depends on the plan.
Make sure you ask about insurance.
It doesn’t matter if you’re moving down the street to another Kansas City neighborhood, or to another suburb like Grain Valley. Damage happens during a move, so protect yourself.
4. Take a moving inventory
When you’re packing, stay organized. While many moving companies number your boxes, you may want to label them as well. Know how many boxes you have and what’s in them.
Keep a list of the boxes and the contents. You may even consider taking a photo, so you can prove you packed the items appropriately.
A color-coded system works well so movers can quickly identify what item goes where when you move into your new home.
Remember, decluttering first will make moving and organization easier!
5. Keep the boxes from getting too heavy
Pack boxes lightly even if you’re hiring a professional moving company. Don’t put a bunch of heavy items in one box.
Ultimately, the boxes break.
If a box is heavy, make sure you label it, so the mover knows before picking it up.
While you don’t want your boxes too heavy, pack them tightly to prevent them from squishing when stacked on top of one another.
6. Don’t pack everything
There are some items you don’t want to give to the movers. You want to take these to your new home yourself. These include plants, which the movers likely won’t take anyway. You also want to bring all medication and personal documents with you. These are items you don’t want to get lost or end up in the wrong hands.
This is easier to do with a local move within a city, but just as important for an out of state move.
7. Have a plan for your pets
Moving is stressful, even for your pets. Pack slowly, so all their favorite toys don’t disappear at once. Keep your pets in a separate room on moving day, so they’re not upset by the commotion. With careful planning, you can survive a move with pets.
8. Inspect items upon delivery
When your movers finish the job, they’ll have you sign a form indicating the move is successful, and there’s no damage. Of course, you won’t unpack every box by the time the movers leave, so it’s difficult to find all the damaged items immediately. However, take a look at big ticket items and make sure they’re in good working condition before you sign the final moving documents. Try to unpack as quickly as possible so you can report damage. Take photos of the damaged item while it’s still in the box.
9. Cancel utilities
While moving is your primary focus, there are other miscellaneous tasks that you need to keep in mind. Cancel your utilities – cable, power, gas, water, etc. If you have automatic payments, and you won’t be using the same service anymore, stop the auto withdrawals and provide the utility company with your updated address in case there’s one last bill.
10. Change your address
Several weeks before you move, fill out the change of address paperwork with the United States Postal Service. You can do it online. It costs $1, and it’s to verify your identity.
You’ll give a starting date for mail forwarding. To make sure it’s processed on time, start this process early.
Even though you change it with the USPS, you still need to call creditors and other companies you do business with and give them your updated information.