Even the smallest home contains a lot of furniture, clothes, kitchen equipment, pictures, and other items. For a short move, it may be worthwhile to transport small goods by yourself, but larger items will likely require a professional mover.
Our Moving Center provides calculators as well as information on moving options, storage, truck rentals, and related topics. This information, plus assistance and advice from your REALTOR®, can ease the moving process.
How Do You Plan a Move?
The time to plan your move begins once you’ve decided to sell your home. Some of the activities required to sell the home can actually help with the moving process. For example, by cleaning out closets, the basement, and the attic there will be less to do once the home is under contract.
Your planning will be guided by a number of things:
- Are you moving long distances? If yes, you’ll likely require an interstate mover and the use of a large van.
- Moving internationally? Contact the embassy in Washington, DC, for information. Be aware that items that may be entirely common in the United States can be prohibited in foreign countries. Ask about customs protocols, duties, and taxes.
- Moving locally? If yes, will you move? You’ll need to consider packing boxes, peanuts, blankets, or padding and a van rental.
- Planning is key: Stock up on boxes, packing materials, tape, and markers. Always mark boxes so that movers will know where goods should be placed.
Which Mover Should You Use?
The decision of which mover to use can begin with a visit to REALTOR.com’s® Moving Center and discussions with the REALTOR® who is marketing your home.
There are a number of factors to consider:
- Cost: You’ll want to spend as little as possible, but choosing only on the basis of cost can be a mistake. Movers must have the right equipment, training, and experience to do a good job. A mover, no matter how large or small, should be able to provide recent references for home sellers with a similar volume of goods to transport.
- Get mover estimates in writing: Be aware that it’s possible to get discounts through membership organizations and, sometimes, on the basis of your profession: Clergy, for example, sometimes qualifies for a discount.
- Always confirm mover credentials: Movers should be licensed and bonded as required in your state, and employees should have workman’s comp insurance.
Get a Checklist
Moving is a big job and checklists can make it more organized and easier. Here are some of the major items to consider:
- Money: If you’re moving more than a few miles, then you should have enough cash or credit to cover travel, food, transportation, and lodging.
- Medicine: Keep medications in a place where they will be available during the move.
- Number boxes: Make a list of boxes by number and indicate their contents. It makes it easier to count all boxes on arrival.
- Keep kids occupied: If moving with children, make sure that each has a favorite toy or toys, blankets, games, music, and other items.
- Moving historic, breakable, or valued items? Such goods routinely require special handling and packaging.
- Have address books readily available: In case you need help.