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If you choose to get a full-service move: good for you! You need not to read further.
For the rest of us: you might be asking yourself some simple questions about wrapping, timing, supplies, etc. etc. So here are a few tips how to make your move smoother (and more seamless, which usually means faster, too).
1. Give the moving company a comprehensive list of what they will be transporting. In addition to the obvious big furniture, you can include things like: how many boxes, pictures and art, rugs, lawn mower, and all the miscellaneous stuff that you might not use every day and could skip your mind. All of these items will add extra time, so if you are on a budget, pack them up and place them to an easily accessible place.
2. Tape your boxes shut. You may have some oddly shaped items in open boxes, but that should be the exception, not the rule.
2/b. Speaking of boxes: U-Haul has pretty good value boxes and they sell paper tape that make the taping super easy.
3. Wrap up art and mirrors. Or ask for supplies ahead of time so the movers can do it for you.
4. Put heavy items into smaller boxes.
5. Empty desk and dresser drawers.
6. Move cars out of the driveway. If you are moving from a narrow street, give your neighbors a heads-up.
7. Label boxes based on where in the new house they will be going. Then label the rooms in your new home. This will make EVERYTHING so much easier. If you skip this step, you might end up with 4 people asking you "where is this going?" about every 5 seconds.
8. If you have a new carpet, you might want to put down a carpet shield (adhesive carpet cover in the paint section of home improvement stores). Let your movers know if you need carpet covers.
9. Take five minutes to walk the movers through your home and explain what goes where.
10. Disassemble bulky furniture when on a budget.
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There are some pretty clear signs when to hire a mover: maybe the item you are trying to move from A to B too heavy or too long for one person to carry (hint: hot tub). Or perhaps you are in a rush and don't have a week to shuttle your things over in your truck (if you're lucky to have one!). But most of our clients just don't want to carry their furniture; and rightfully so. You can hurt yourself. Or hurt someone or something else. We are professional movers and still tweak our backs sometimes! No matter what your reason, don't feel bad about hiring help. Because most people do it, even if they are in the best shape of their lives. Think about how much your time is worth to you and what other productive things you can be doing instead of running boxes up and down the stairs. Let's be real: there is nothing luxurious about hiring movers these days. It's just like taking your car to the mechanic; there comes a point where your equipment, manpower, or knowledge is just not sufficient.
One thing you should keep in mind when you look for movers is that if they are not communicating well with you while you are trying to get on their schedule, they might be doing the same thing while they move your belongings. We learned throughout this past year how important it is to get on the same page with our clients. There is a huge benefit of being a small company; we are very flexible. So we don't try to come up with a cookie-cutter solution for every move; we tailor our services to our clients' needs.