Moving Guides – Long Distance

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Living in a golden age of technology as we do, it’s a given that most of us have a number or electronic devices to pack when moving. Computers, tablets, video game systems, stereo equipment and televisions are all high-dollar investments, and you want to make sure those investments are not damaged when moving. Here are 10 tips to consider when packing electronics for your big move.

1. Plan Ahead

Long distance moves are a major life event, and the best way to make sure yours goes smoothly is to make sure you plan ahead. Reach out to moving companies in your area about 3 months before you are planning on moving. Especially in the summertime movers reach capacity, and by planning ahead you won’t have to worry about finding a mover at the last minute.  Plan ahead to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything important before your move

2. In-Home Estimate

With an in-home moving estimate, a move representative from the local moving company will come to your home to do a visual survey of all the items you are moving. This allows them to give you an accurate price for your move. It also helps you get a feel for the moving company you are considering selecting. If a company you are speaking with does not want to perform an in-home survey, be wary. You may be dealing with a move broker instead of an actual moving company. Brokers just book your business and then contract your move out to a physical mover in your area, usually the mover willing to do your move for the cheapest. This can cause problems for you down the road because you have an extra middle man to deal with and likely are not working with the highest quality mover. It is a good idea to do a Google Earth search of your mover to verify they have a physical location and moving truck


3. Research Moving Companies

Not all moving companies are created equal. It is a good idea to do some research about your mover to make sure they are a high quality company. Good places to check include the BBB, Yelp, Angie’s List, and For long distance moves it is also usually a good idea to move with a large established van line, like United Van Lines or Mayflower Transit. These van lines have significantly higher hauling capacities than a mom-and-pop mover would, and so they are much more likely to be able to get a well-trained moving crew to your house on move day.

4. Downsize

With a long distance move, the cost of your move is going to be based on the weight of the items you ship. The more you ship, the more you will end up paying. It is usually a good idea to take the time to go through your belongings and decide what you still use and what you can get rid of. Consider holding a garage sale before your move or donating unneeded items to the Salvation Army. Also take a moment to consider if you will no longer need certain items at your new home. If you are moving from Michigan to Florida, you most likely don’t need to move your snow blower, and you can probably donate that box of old sweaters as well.

5. Consider Furniture Placement Locations

Plan where you want all of your furniture will go once it gets to your new home, and make sure everything will fit. If your new home is smaller than your current home, there is a good chance everything will feel crowded if you bring all your furniture. Plan what items will go into each room. If you don’t have a place for an item get rid of it before you move it. If you have large or oversized furniture make sure it can fit through the stairwells and around tight corners. Older homes often have tight stairwells that cannot accommodate all types of furniture. King size beds for example often will not fit upstairs in older homes.

6. Label Boxes

If you are packing yourself for the move, be sure to label your boxes while you are packing. Write on the outside of each box a list of the items that packed inside. Also remember to mark what room the items should be place into in the new home. Markings like “dining room” or “master bedroom” will make placing items significantly easier for the movers. Listing the item contents on the box will be a lifesaver when you are unpacking and trying to locate the remote control for your TV.

7. Know Your Rights

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates all long distance moves. Their Rights and Responsibilities booklet describes exactly what the moving company’s responsibilities are and what your responsibilities are. One of the most important decision you need to make is in regards to valuation. Movers are required to provide compensation for items that are damaged or lost during transportation, but the amount of compensation they are required to offer varies significantly. Released valuation protection, which comes included in every move, only holds the moving company liable for $0.60/lb. of each item, so if a 30 lb. item is damaged you would only be compensated $18. Full valuation protection fully covers your items from moving damage, but you pay an additional fee for the increased coverage. With full valuation protection the mover will repair or replace any item that is damaged during the move. Ask your mover questions about valuation so that you know you are making the best decision for yourself.

8. Move in the Offseason

This is not an option for many people, but moving companies tend to charge higher prices during their busy summer moving season than they do during the fall, winter, and spring. If you have flexibility on your moving dates you can save yourself some money by moving in the offseason.

9. Moving Expenses are Tax Deductible

Moving costs are often tax deductible if you are moving for work. Remember to deduct your move expenses when you are filing your taxes in the spring, and you can save yourself quite a bit of money. Check out this website to learn more about what moving expenses you are allowed to deduct.

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