Hiring a Mover

When it comes to moving, there are a lot of options. You can be ambitious and try to move all your belongings yourself, but if you feel like you can’t handle that, you could always hire a mover or moving company. Movers can help you pack your things, drive all your stuff to your new property and unload it all. There’s always the risk of finding a less-reputable mover who can end up costing you more money and time than you wanted. Keep the following tips in mind.

  • Ask around for a recommendation: If you have family or friends who have recently moved and chose to go with a moving company, ask them how their company was. If they gave a positive review for a certain company, you should definitely be looking towards that direction. However, don’t make that your only choice, still look around at your other options. There’s no guarantee that you’ll feel the same as them about that certain company.
  • Research: Just don’t stick to one or a few options, research various companies and speak to their representatives. Researching multiple companies is vital to your ability to find the best company. By doing solid research beforehand, you can also avoid scams, overspending and wasting time with a less reputable company. To get started on your research, search on the internet. You could also ask your REALTOR® to give you some reputable moving companies.
  • Choose a local company, unless you’re moving far away: To save some money, choose a local company if you can. If you choose a local company, they typically charge an hourly rate for a truck and crew. If you’re moving farther away, you may want to consider on hiring a company from your new location or old one, but keep in mind that they will typically start charging mileage (or kilometres if Canada) and potentially on weight as well.
  • Cheap doesn’t mean best: Going with a cheap company doesn’t guarantee you’re getting a better deal. These companies can have poor service and/or incur charges to you later. There’s also the risk of running into fraudulent companies.
  • Get the quote /estimate after inspection: A company should never give you an upfront quote or price without looking at your belongings first. If they do this over the phone, hang up and don’t even consider hiring that company. They should come to your home first to inspect your belongings and the distance from your old place to your new one, and then they should be able to provide you a quote.
  • Check your insurance: Call your insurance company and see if you have coverage in the event that there is an accident. Also ask the moving company if they offer liability coverage. Remember, if you pack things yourself and there is an accident that way, then the moving company will not be responsible for any damage.

It’s never a bad idea to ask your REALTOR® on what to look for when hiring a moving company. There’s always the option for self-moving, and click here for more moving tips. Making sure you find a reputable home mover will make your home moving experience a lot more easy and smooth.

Self-Moving Advice & Tips
If you’re a bit strapped for cash or if you don’t have too many belongings, moving by yourself – and not with the assistance of a moving company – can be a practical option. You’ll save money, get a work out, and probably be able get some free help from your friends and family. This doesn’t mean it’s easy; self-moving requires a lot of work and effort. If you prepare and plan well ahead before your move-in date, you should have no issue with your self-moving experience.

Are you prepared?
First, you need to make sure you’re in suitable condition to move. If you’re sick, injured or just too weak to pull off a moving job, then you shouldn’t be moving by yourself. Therefore, you should contact a moving company. If you’ve had severe injuries in the past, such as back injuries, you should most likely avoid self-moving in case the injuries re-surface. Also, check your insurance to see if you’re covered for accidents, injuries and damage to your goods if you self-move.

If you’re in good shape, then start planning your move. It is highly recommended that you acquire the assistance of friends or family – you don’t want to be lifting all those heavy boxes and furniture by yourself. Make sure they are in good physical form to help you out. Don’t forget to reward them with some pizza and cold beverages; you want them to still talk to you, right? Now, start planning for your move. Make sure you have arrangements for your move-in day at least two to three weeks in advance. As time narrows down to move-in day, compile a list to keep you organized while packing. Head down to the local store and get the materials that you’ll need: boxes, tape, box cutters, permanent markers, work gloves, plastic wrap, and bubble wrap.

Just keep truckin’ along
Most likely, you’ll have to rent a truck from a rental truck company. They have trucks that vary in size, so even if you don’t have a lot of possessions or smaller pieces of furniture, you can still rent a relatively small truck or van. But if you do rent a truck, make sure you have the required license and insurance to drive one. Most of the time you’ll be able to get away with your regular driver’s license if you rent a smaller truck, but you may be required to get a special one if the truck is larger. Once you get your truck, make sure you load all you possessions properly into the truck. Start with heavy furniture at the back of the truck and heavier boxes at the bottom. Load lighter items on top of heavier items. Use plastic wrap and rope for any items that may topple or need extra sturdiness. Make sure you pack important documents and items last, or carry them in a different vehicle. Don’t forget to lock the truck for security.

If you have never driven a truck before, then you may want to practice. Remember, these are much larger than your car and they move and stop a lot differently. Here are a few tips for driving, loading and unloading a truck:

  • Drive with caution: Especially when you have all your belongings packed in the back, trucks won’t go too fast – so don’t push it. Drive at or slightly below the speed limit and try to avoid driving in the far left lanes if you’re on the highway. Patiently take turns and when approaching a stop begin to break earlier than usual. Keep an eye out for smaller vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Backing up: Try to avoid backing up as much as you can, but if you need to, get someone to help direct you from the outside. Use the side view mirrors and take your time when executing the back-up.
  • Don’t exert yourself: If you’re driving long distances, try not to drive more than 6-8 hours at once. Allow some time for rest. When unloading the truck, make sure you lift with your knees and not your back. Rent a trolley or hand jack to easier maneuver boxes around. Drink lots of water.

If you don’t trust yourself driving a truck or don’t want to, you can always hire a self-moving company. Essentially what these companies do is drive the truck for you, but you’ll have to pack, load and unload the truck. You do all the moving, they do all the driving. Self-moving can be difficult, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You can save lots of money if you’re prepared and have the right amount of help. If you keep focused, energized and positive, your moving experience will be less stressful and easier to handle.

Moving with Children
Moving can be a challenge for anyone, even for your children. Some children might be frightened by the prospect of moving, but, with your care, guidance and positivity, the process of moving with your children will be enjoyable for them. No matter what age your children are, clear communication is needed between you and your child, as well as being receptive to their feelings, moods and actions. Children can be emotionally fragile, so a great deal of patience and care will be needed to address their needs. There’s nothing wrong with including your children, if feasible, in the home buying process – they might enjoy the idea of moving more. If they like a certain bedroom or the backyard, remember to take that into account when purchasing a new home. For children, moving can be a reluctant experience, but getting your child involved and having clear communication with them can help smooth over any uneasy feelings and frustration.

How to cope with child uneasiness
Once the decision to move is finalized, make sure you communicate this immediately to your children. This will soften the transition by allowing for the necessary time the child requires to prepare for the move. By doing this, your child feels well informed and trusting of you. But also remember, children – especially teens – are ingrained in their social circles, so if they are old enough, allow them spend as much time as they can with their friends.

If your child is a toddler or a young elementary school student, the idea of moving might be confusing for them, so this is where parents must take more time and effort to ease the transition for their child. Explain to them carefully what moving means, and maybe use toys or a cheerful story to comfort the child rather than alarming them. The Internet is a great tool to use to show your child images of the new area. If not too far away, physically take your child to your new home and neighborhood so they fully understand their new surroundings. Take your child, whether they are young or a teen, to their new school and community center to meet teachers or local sports coaches. If older, take your child to the local mall, library and movie theatre so they know which social spots are good to go to.

What you can do
The best thing you can do is to be completely open with your child; this is a large transition for them and you need to be as caring and understanding as you can. Moving is extremely stressful for parents when the load of the work is on their shoulders. You will be stressed and will show it, but make sure you don’t expose this to your children – it will just make them stressed and upset. Be positive, enthusiastic and spend time with your child, this may relieve some of your stress too. Be open to the questions and concerns of your child and take time to discuss it with them. While the easy thing to do would be quickly saying, “Everything will be fine,” and going on your way, you must devote time to comfort them. This will not only help them with the transition but may also strengthen the relationship between you and your child.

It’s perfectly normal for an older child or a teen to rebel and be angered by the move. They are in a social system that works for them and they don’t want to start from scratch. Moving somewhere new, especially when switching to a new school, can be awkward and difficult for your teen. Instead of arguing with them, open up to their feelings. You may have to endure some yelling and crying from your teen, but keep your patience and composure together.

Don’t forget to have your child involved in the moving process, especially with packing and the decision-making process. Reward them with ice-cream, a toy or even a bonus allowance when they help out, this will make them feel better. Making an easier transition for your child is crucial for their comfort and emotional stability. With some effort and patience, your child will eventually enjoy the new house, and in no time they will be referring to their new surroundings as “home”.