Moving can be a stressful experience, but it doesn’t have to be. By doing a bit of pre-planning and hiring the right movers, you can save yourself a lot of time and future worry.

Here are our top 5 tips on making a smooth move to your new home in Scottsdale:

Start planning early. You don’t always have the luxury of time, especially if your house sells quickly, so as soon as you know a move is imminent, start planning. Think of all the steps the move will entail: hiring a moving company, sorting through your stuff, packing, and unpacking. It can be enormously helpful to make checklists of the tasks that need to be completed for each of these steps.

Now is also the time to budget how much you can afford to spend on your move. Movers may be the biggest expense you’ll face, but they aren’t the only one. Other possible line items include packing supplies, furniture pads, dollies, pizza for family and friends helping out, and possibly even a night or two in a hotel. Knowing what you can afford will help shape your plan moving forward.

Find a reputable moving company. We’ve all heard horror stories of moving vans that don’t show up or movers who drop the TV. Minimize the risk that you’ll have your own horror story to tell by doing your homework before you sign a contract. Start by asking family members, friends, and neighbors who have moved recently for companies they would recommend. You might also want to consult the Better Business Bureau.

We recommend a local company called Get Your Move On. Owner Derek Greene and his movers have helped our clients and even our own staff move small condos and large luxury homes, and have done so at a reasonable price. They are reputable, thorough, and careful and we were satisfied with our individual experiences and have heard nothing but great feedback about their services from clients.

Many moving companies will want to come to your home to give you an estimate, including Get Your Move On. Before they do, ask them how they charge. Most provide a rate per pound and by distance although, for short distances, some companies charge by the hour. Also, ask about when additional fees apply. Some companies, for example, charge extra for awkward items or if the destination does not have easy access.

Collect your moving supplies. As soon as you decide to move, start collecting boxes. If you are trying to cut costs with used boxes, make sure they are in good shape and not torn, bent, or damaged. New boxes should be made of strong corrugated cardboard with a crust test rating of at least 32 pounds per inch printed on the box.  Depending on the size of the box, these can cost up to $5 each (they’re often less expensive if you buy in bulk).

You’ll also need packing tape. Not masking tape or duct tape. Packing tape. Masking and duct tape don’t adhere well to cardboard, and the last thing you want on moving day is your china slipping through the bottom of a poorly sealed box as you pick it up.

Other helpful items: a tape gun, if you don’t have one already; permanent markers to label your boxes; bubble wrap and/or packing paper (newspaper can stain items); dollies; and furniture pads.

Start packing early. Don’t wait until the week before you move to start packing. As soon as you find out you’re moving, begin sorting through your stuff into piles to either pack, donate, or throw away. Seasonal items that you plan to keep such as holiday decorations, sports equipment, and clothing (coats in the summer and swimsuits in the winter) can be boxed immediately.

As you pack, label the top and sides of the boxes with contents, location in your house, and special instructions like “fragile” or “heavy.” Err on the side of being more detailed than less when you list the contents. You don’t want to have to dig through every kitchen box to find the toaster.

Also, pack items tightly to prevent damage and loss. Clothes, towels, linens, and pillows can be used to keep fragile items safe as well as bubble wrap and packing paper. As you break down furniture, put all pieces (screws, bolts, and other small parts) in plastic bags and tape it to the main body for easy assembly. Then, wrap the furniture in protective padding to prevent scratching and other damage.

One more tip: Keep box weight to a minimum to prevent injuries. Most boxes should weigh less than 50 pounds with 40 pounds or less being ideal. Any boxes over 50 pounds should be clearly marked as “heavy.”

Check for missing and damaged items. Before you breathe a sigh of relief in the new house, test all major appliances to make sure they work. Then, check all furniture to make sure nothing was damaged, and open all boxes to make sure everything arrived. If an item was lost or damaged during the move, call the mover and your insurance company immediately to submit a claim. The longer you wait to make that call (or check for those lost or damaged items), the less likely it becomes that you will be reimbursed.

Follow these tips and keep it simple to avoid unnecessary stress. Moving can and should be exciting!

For more tips on an easy move, feel free to give us a call anytime.

Don Matheson
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255