10 Moving Tips

Top 10 Moving Tips 

Whether you're moving across town or moving across country, a well-planned move can be challenging. With so much to remember, your mover can make the process efficient and affordable. At Underfanger, we've been moving people and companies for over a century. Here's our top tips for preparing to move your home or office.

1. Call for a mover as soon as you know when you're moving.

If you're thinking of moving in the near future, call your mover well in advance. This is especially important if you're planning to move during the busy summer months when children are out of school.

In timing your move, try to give the moving company a choice of days. If possible, avoid the first and last days of the month, when everyone else wants to move, too.

2. Use a reputable moving service.

Do your research. Be sure you are dealing with a reputable, reliable company.

Ask friends and neighbors, or contact the Better Business Bureau for comments and experiences regarding the moving company you are considering. (Keep in mind that the BBB is a membership organization, and their references are reflective of the support a particular mover may give them. Do not rely only on a BBB referral, but use it as one part of your homework.)

Your state regulatory agency (in Illinois, that's the Illinois Commerce Commission: moving@icc.state.il.us) or the federal Department of Transportation's Surface Transportation Board can confirm if the mover you are considering is licensed or has complaints.  Currently there is not an online list of all the licensed movers in Illinois, but you can contact our association or the Illinois Commerce Commission for help.

3. Get a "guess-timate" of what the move will cost. 

Your mover will be glad to explain the transportation rate and the charges for packing, wardrobe service, extra pick-up or delivery, storage, additional value protection and other services. But remember, an estimate is a "guess-timate." It's based on average sizes and weights to help you anticipate your approximate expense. The estimate may be over or under the actual charges at destination.

4. Confess your innermost secrets to ensure an accurate moving estimate.

Be sure to tell your mover everything you intend to move. For your estimate to be accurate, show the estimator the contents of every room, closet, attic, cellar or garage so he can accurately gauge your requirements. Surprising him on moving day can only lead to confusion and possibly delay. The mover won't just "throw in" the extra "stuff" at no charge.

5. If you own a cast-iron, gold-flecked elephant foot umbrella stand, call it a cast-iron, gold-flecked elephant foot umbrella stand.

Be sure the specific description and accurate condition of each item is entered on the inventory. And realistically, a sofa that has given service to a family for eight years cannot possibly be in "mint" condition. Items that are marred and gouged should be indicated as such. Identify highly-valued and treasured items so they may be given appropriate care.

6. Don't be embarrassed to be a snoop during packing. 

Be there at the time of packing, pick-up, and delivery to protect your interests. Carefully inspect all your possessions upon their arrival. When you sign the delivery receipt, you accept and acknowledge that your possessions are in apparent good condition, except as you indicate in writing on the delivery receipt.

7. You've hired a qualified mover, not a jack-of-all-trades.

Disconnecting and connecting of appliances, television antenna, air-conditioning units and other items requiring special servicing and installation should be arranged with your appliance dealer. Some movers will perform certain of these services, or they can make arrangements for you with an independent service provider.

8. Oops... Accidents can happen.  

Sometimes, despite the utmost care, loss or damage may occur. Your goods will be partially protected for 30- to 60-cents per pound per article at no extra cost. You may, for a modest charge, place increased valuation on your goods, or purchase protection insurance. Discuss your specific protection requirements with your mover in advance. Set aside jewelry, documents, money, medicines, and especially valuable small items to carry with you -- do not pack them on the truck.

9. Notify utility companies, organizations, family and friends of your move.  

Save time by using the official notification forms which your mover will often be able to supply to you to notify utility companies, banks, government agencies, publications, social and professional organizations. Remember to give your new address and phone number to friends and family members.

10. Get a Receipt.

Upon delivery, be sure you receive from your mover a correct bill of lading, complete with all weights, rates and charges. This is your official receipt. This amount is what you will be expected to pay, in cash or certified check, for your shipment.

Contact us to discuss your moving, packing or storage needs!