Plan ahead! Summer is traditionally the busiest, or "peak" season for the moving industry. The beginning and the end of the month are usually busier than mid-month, no matter what the season. The end-of-year holidays are often busy, as well. During that period of time the demand for moving equipment, vans, and personnel is heavy. If you're able to schedule your move between the months of October and April, you will find lower rates and greater availability.
If you have school-age children, it's preferable to wait until the completion of the school term to move. For younger children, moving to a new school in the middle of the school term will probably not create any academic problems. However, it may be more difficult for older children and teenagers to switch schools in the middle of the term. Older children will also have developed stronger ties to their friends and may have a harder time adjusting if moved mid-term.
Make a point of scheduling an on-site estimate before you hire a moving company. A relocation consultant should come to your home and do a visual inventory of the contents of your home that you are planning to move. He will then prepare a written estimate for your review.
Decide what items you want to ship and what will be discarded. Inspect your home from top to bottom or from attic to basement before the relocation consultant will arrive. Show the consultant everything that you will be moving.
Effective communication is a key factor for a successful move. Be certain your mover has marked all items that are "going" and "not going" on the survey sheet. The mover will prepare an estimate that includes transportation charges and the charges for additional services that you are requesting. Keep in mind that if you decide to take more items or take fewer items the total cost of your move will change. Inform the mover of any changes with your shipment.
If you decide to do your own packing or partial packing, remember that the moving company is not liable for damage to boxes packed by the customer. However, if there is obvious exterior damage on packing up your goods, make a note on the inventory sheet of your shipment. The driver has the right to refuse to accept any carton that may be improperly packed. If the driver has to re-pack cartons that the customer has packed, additional charges will apply.
If you decide to do your own packing, get packing supplies and start collecting strong boxes suitable for moving. Your mover should be able to provide these, although many movers charge customers for delivering materials. Complete all packing by moving day. You will be busy enough on moving day without having to worry about last-minute packing.
If your move is a corporate relocation, find out what portion of your moving expenses will be paid by your company.
Obtain a written appraisal of antiques to verify their value. Do not retouch, wax or oil wood furniture before moving. Some products may soften the wood, making it vulnerable to imprinting from furniture pads.