Everybody likes to save money and nobody wants more stress in their life.
While the above statement may not have the certainty of the adage about death and taxes, I’d say it’s close. And given that moving can be a stressful and costly activity (it can be but it doesn’t have to be), in this post I’m going to offer you three tips for holding down costs and minimizing stress.
Here we go.
1. Lighten your load. (You can’t do anything about the miles but you can do everything about the weight.) – Stevens Worldwide Van Lines and every other reputable mover calculates the cost of your move based on the weight of your belongings and the distance those belongings travel. And whether you’re moving across town or across the country there’s nothing you can do about the distance. As the saying goes, it is what it is.
Weight, on the other hand, is entirely within your control. Theoretically you could sell all of your household possessions and not even need a mover. Odds are you won’t do that. But here’s something everyone can and should do: Take a careful and considered inventory of your belongings. You probably have things boxed up and packed away in the attic or basement – things of little or no sentimental value – that can be easily disposed of through a garage sale or donation. This is a good start, but if you want to drop some serious weight consider the following:
Furniture – Think about whether it’s time for an upgrade or a remodel. If your furniture is in good condition, it should be relatively easy to sell. An ad on craigslist will probably get the job done.
Appliances – Here’s an opportunity to shed some hefty pounds from your move. Of course, if you’re selling a home, you may be able to include your appliances as part of the sale price. If your buyer isn’t interested in that deal, it’s back to craigslist and other means of peddling your wares.
2. Do all of your own packing, or most of it. – Pack everything yourself and you’ll eliminate all packing charges. On the other hand, major moving companies, including Stevens, offer expert packing services. (Stevens personnel receive extensive training in this area.) We can pack all your household items or work with you on a customized packing plan.
For example, maybe you want us to pack your fragile items such as dishes, fine china, glassware, mirrors, etc. while you take care of everything else. Or, you can pack your fragile items and have us take care of the rest. The choice is yours; you pay for only the packing services you use. (Most other reputable movers offer the same options.)
Three points worth noting: (1) For any item that Stevens personnel pack we are fully liable for any damage. (2) For any item packed by the customer we are only liable if there is obvious damage to the outside of the box. For instance, the box was crushed, smushed or something along those lines. (3) For a fee, Stevens personnel will check customer-packed boxes before they are sealed. Once we approve the packing and the box is sealed we are then liable for any damage.
3. Answer two important questions: (1) Can my mover get in and out? (2) Will my furniture and appliances fit? – Whether you’re moving from one permanent residence to another – and especially if you’ll be occupying temporary housing for a few months such as an apartment or condo – there are two things you want to keep in mind:
i. Vehicular access – In picking out your temporary housing consider the area in the immediate vicinity of your new residence. Is there room enough for a 53-foot moving van to safely maneuver? If not, the driver will have to park the van as near to the delivery location as he can get. Then, rent a smaller truck and shuttle your goods to your residence. All this will add considerable expense to your moving costs. Plus, finding this out at the last minute is a nasty surprise that can cause you more than a little stress.
Access can also be a problem if you’re moving into a permanent home – for instance, one in a gated community. Or, for that matter, any development that doesn’t easily accommodate tractor-trailers. It shouldn’t keep you from purchasing the home you want, but knowing the circumstances ahead of time will mean less stress. And, enable you to better budget for the added moving expense.
ii. Furniture and appliances – Sometimes the furniture and appliances that fit so beautifully in your old home can be difficult to impossible to fit into your new residence. This is a problem we run into more often than we’d like.
For example, that big armoire you want to put in the upstairs bedroom. It just won’t fit. Or the only way to make it fit is to hoist it up over a balcony and through a larger entryway offered by a sliding door. At added expense of course. Then there are the double refrigerator systems that are so popular these days; they can be a problem as well. More so if you’re moving into an apartment, condo or older home.
Exercise equipment can also cause moving problems. In many cases this equipment, an elliptical machine for example, was bought and transported home in a flat box. And then assembled in the basement. Problem is you often can’t get it out of your basement unless you take it apart. So in the middle of this very busy day you’ll have to drop everything and take it apart – or pay to have someone come out and do it for you. It’s just one more headache you don’t need.
Oh, and one other thing. Don’t forget about that nice workbench you built for yourself. Odds are, if you’re going to get it out of the basement, you’ll have to take it apart as well
There you have it. Those are my three tips for managing your move so that you can hold down costs and minimize stress.
Like my previous post on preventing identity theft when you move, these tips are grounded in good old-fashioned common sense. In this case the common sense of planning and preparation, a little of which will go a long way towards helping you and your family enjoy a smooth move. One that stays within your moving budget and results in the least amount of headache and hassle as possible. That’s what you want, and that’s what your moving team here at Stevens wants as well.
Author: Stevens' corporate writer