Busiest time to move right around the corner
School soon will be out and many kids will be on the move—many back to the folks’ house. While Mom and Dad might have room for some of their stuff, the kids might also find their parents have downsized and no longer have any extra storage space.
Where to look? Many storage facilities are happy to help including SpareFoot.com, a company that aggregates available local storage space so consumers don’t have to call every facility in the area to find room for their extra stuff. A company spokesman indicated that May and June were two of the busiest moving months of the year.
“In fact,” said John Egan, SpareFoot.com spokesman, “the day after Memorial Day is the busiest moving day of the entire year.”
Really. I thought families didn’t move until school got out in June.
“A lot of families do wait until late June,” Egan said, “but not all of them are leaving their schools and they choose to move right after Memorial Day. For whatever reason, that’s the day that gets more moving activity than any other day.”
When I tossed my friend’s no-move-twice rule into Egan’s court, he replied that more people would be better served by using that guideline.
“You would be surprised at the number of times people pack stuff they haven’t seen in years,” Egan said. “Sometimes, they don’t even open the box. I’ve been known to tell people to give it away if they haven’t used it in a year.”
Egan then passed along SpareFoot’s five biggest mistakes consumers make when packing and moving.
1. Packing too much stuff.
Do you really need those old boxes of baby clothes that you haven’t laid eyes on since your six-year-old was in diapers? Before you move, you need to asses your belongings. Think about giving them away to family, friends or a local family who might need what you have. Hold a garage sale to clear out some of the clutter.
2 . Failing to schedule your move well in advance.
During the summer months, good moving companies become extremely busy. Rather than waiting till the last minute, make sure your move is scheduled weeks – or, better yet, months – in advance. You don’t want to be scrambling to find a mover the day before you’re supposed to head out. Moving already is stressful enough without adding that frustration.
3. No solid cost estimate
If you hire a mover, you should be able to have someone from that company come to your home or apartment for an in-home moving estimate. If a moving company won’t do an in-home estimate, you should think about shopping around for another mover.
Don’t rely on just one quote from one mover. Contact several movers for quotes. If you really like one mover over another but your favorite company is a little pricey, try negotiating for a lower price. Always make sure to get a moving estimate in writing.
4. Hiring a shady mover.
We’ve all heard horror stories about moving scams, and perhaps maybe you’ve been the victim of a moving scam yourself. You can steer clear of a less-than-upstanding mover by doing your homework. The Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, your state transportation regulator and the U.S. Department of Transportation – and even your relatives, friends, neighbors and colleagues – are all good sources of information about whether a moving company is on the up-and-up. Doing some homework online can save you a lot of heartache on moving day.
If you’ve done your research and still aren’t confident in the movers you’ve come across, you always can go the DIY route – just be sure you’re up for the task.
5. Actually packing ahead of time.
You’ll find very few people who’ll say that packing is fun. You can lessen the load by beginning to pack well before the movers show up at your door. Start with stuff that you won’t need right away. For instance, if you’re moving in the summer, pack up your winter clothes so that they’re out of the way.
If you get down to the wire and need help with packing, enlist friends, neighbors, relatives or colleagues to lend a hand. Make sure you’ve got plenty of food and beverages as a “thank you” for your volunteer helpers.
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