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If you are making an interstate move, you should read the The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Your Rights & Responsibilities When You Move. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also provides valuable information for interstate moves in News Releases Related to Moving Household Goods?

How to Have BIG Money Garage Sales and Yard Sales! (and Earn Money from Home!)


As far in advance of your move as possible

Consider your budget for moving, break it down by cost such as moving boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, loose fill or packing peanuts, and misc. costs as well as rental costs for truck or dollies and so on. Once you have your budget in place. You need to decide if you are going to use a mover or do it yourself. Your budget may determine this question for you. Do not assume you will save money if you do-it- yourself. Don't forget about the costs for insurance and gasoline for the truck, not to mention the value of your 'sweat equity and the food and beer for your friends and relatives that offer to help on moving day. Moving Labels
Many movers have special deals they can offer you through various organizations you may belong to. Unions, the Auto Club, Masonic organizations, etc. may have contracts with movers to provide significant discounts for their membership. If you belong to an organization, check this out, it could save you a lot of money.

Get Ready to Move.
Start collecting boxes as soon as possible. Your going to need more boxes than you think - Start collecting boxes and clean packaging from work, friends or your favorite office store. Beware of used food boxes as they may come with critters, odors or bugs. Consider buying boxes you can reuse after the move such as basement or attic storage. If you have 15 inch high selves order boxes that are 14 inches high so you can use as storage later. 
Be sure to do thorough research on any moving company that you might use. Keep in mind the following when researching a moving company time of year your are making your move. Moving companies are extremely busy during the summer months. You will want to keep this in mind as you plan your move.      Is there such a thing as a safe mover
Here are some additional links to help you research moving companies.
Get estimates from several different moving companies will be to your advantage. Shop around and compare. Moving companies compete for business everyday and should be able to tell you why they would be your best choice. By shopping around for pricing you can work with your budget and also pick the company that best suits your needs. Be extremely cautious of moving companies that come in at a ridiculously lower rate then all other companies. Chances are that they will not be at the quality level that you are seeking and may not be a reliable moving source.        Get three written in-home estimates                       Back to Top
What Possible Extra Charges ?
You will want to have your mover send a representative to inspect the property you are moving and obtain a written estimate, also ask about hidden costs. In our experience, there are 3 categories of hidden costs:
   1 - Not a standard item:
  • Unusually heavy items may incur a separate charge. If you own a grand piano or a large custom entertainment center, you should let your mover know before you accept the quote and when the mover arrives on moving day. Heavy items such as : hot tubs/whirlpools, lawn mowers, Large TV's, heavy-duty vacuums, skidoos/snowmobiles, washers/dryers and refrigerators/freezers.
  • If it's not ready to move. If gas lines need to be disconnected or furniture needs to be disassembled, you may incur an extra cost. If you are able to do this work yourself before the movers arrive, you will save time and money.
   2 - Moving estimates assume that the movers can get close access to your front door and there aren't any flights of stairs. You could incur extra costs if:
  • Movers have to deal with flights of stairs. If you are in a 5th floor apartment you can expect some sort of extra charge.
  • Your street or driveway is too narrow for the truck. Generally, movers prefer to load your stuff directly onto the moving truck. If they can't get that truck within a few hundred feet of your door, expect to incur extra costs. Sometimes they will have to use a separate "shuttle truck" to move your property from your house to another location and transfer to the larger truck.
  • Natural obstacles hinder access. If trees or other natural obstacles prevent the truck from getting close to your house, in some cases you may have to do some quick negotiation with the mover.
 3 - Bad Estimates

  • This is why its important to get an accurate estimate. If you do an online estimate without an on site estimate you have no protection later if the movers hit you with hundreds or thousands of dollars in extra charges.
  • Companies use 'agents' in most areas that are not really the company you may think you are calling. That's how the industry works. The major van lines work with smaller local movers who sell the van lines services, and do local work for the van lines (packing, local pickups and deliveries, etc.) and often do limited hauling. It is common for a major van line to have more than one agent in a given location, so it is important you check out both the van lines AND the agent.
  • Who are you dealing with? If you are moving internationally, you may not get the van lines you think you are getting either as most agents have no obligation to use their primary interstate van lines for international moves.                        Back to Top
     Warning Read this before booking a move with a mover over the internet.
Never let a moving company start your move without having a signed binding contract. This is for your protection. If you have a written estimate done by a representative who came to your house, you have certain legal protections against the price being jacked up. So long as you do not make any material changes in the move, the mover can only collect within a certain percentage of his estimate on delivery. In many cases, if the actual charges legitimately go more than that, you may owe him the money, but you will not have to pay it on delivery. Many movers will even guarantee their estimate if they come to your home to do a home survey.
Always, always, always read the fine print of your contract before you sign it to protect yourself. Be sure that you have a representative from the moving company that you will work directly with regarding your move. Most moving companies have an agent that will work with you one on one until your move is complete. This agent should be able to walk you through step by step the process that will take place. Be sure that you are open and honest and disclose all information requested of your agent so that there are no surprises later.
Insurance is a must if you are going with a mover. Protecting your property is protecting yourself. If your renter’s insurance will not cover your move, then consider purchasing supplemental insurance with the moving company. If you are not satisfied with the cost/coverage of the insurance offered by the insurance company then you may want to shop around for a third party insurance. Also make sure the mover is properly insured. Many fly-by-night companies do not have workman's compensation which is required by law in most states. If workman's compensation coverage is not in place and a worker gets hurt on your property, you could be liable for his injuries. Call the DOT at 1-800-786-5368 to verify he has such coverage.                                                                                     Back to Top
You must share certain information with your mover such as destination address and the all important moving date. If there are any changes you must contact your agent to be sure that you are on the same page. Make sure that your mover has a way of contacting you at all times in case there is a glitch during the moving process. Should you need to have your car moved as part of your move you need to know if there are special instructions for drop off and pick up. Your agent should clearly share the details of this process. There are many items that cannot be transported by moving companies, such as cleaners, paint thinners, etc. It is important that you know what these items are prior to your move.
▪ Hazardous Materials List
There are many items that you should transport yourself for safe keeping. These items may include things like your passport, will, jewelry, etc.
▪ Safeguard Sentimental List
It is also imperative that you back up all of your computer information prior to the move. In the event anything happens to your computer your data will be protected. You should also transport the back up yourself. Another option is an online data storage service that allows you to back up your entire hard drive or multiple drives.


4 - 6 weeks prior to move

Alert your local post office that you are moving. You can pick up change of address forms at your post office or you can file the change electronically at  United States Postal Service

4 - 5 weeks prior to move

Contact family and friends either through snail mail or email to announce your impending move. Good time to seek out extra moving help if your doing it yourself. If family and friends offer to help with your move be prepared to let them know at this time if their help will be needed. They can then mark their calendars for the specific date.
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4 - weeks prior to move

Plan your purge fest. Now is the time to go through everything you own and decide if you want to keep it, sell it, or purge it. Organize your stuff into three piles. Keep, sell, toss.

3 - 4 weeks prior to move

Plan to have a rummage or garage sale. This will be a great opportunity to re-coop some $ for your sell pile. Remember to price accordingly so that you can get rid of the entire pile. After the sale either donate the remaining unsold items to a charity or toss. This will leave you with only your keep pile.     How to Have Big Money Garage Sales
If you decide that you are going to move yourself and you do not have a vehicle that will carry all of your belongings then you may need to rent a truck. Again, it is always to your benefit if you shop around for the best price and size of vehicle that will make your move as easy as possible for you. Check with your insurance company for coverage while you drive the vehicle. If you plan to rent a trailer then you need to have a vehicle that can pull a trailer with a hitch. Keep this in mind as you shop for your moving vehicle.
If your plan is to do your move yourself you are going to need supplies. Boxes, tape, packing protection such as styro peanuts, bubble wrap, etc. You will want to use your budget as a guide to purchase these supplies. Companies such as GBE Packaging advertise the lowest prices. Check them out for yourself at or
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2 - 3 weeks prior to move

Make sure you have enough boxes and tape for your things to be packaged carefully. As soon as you have all of your moving supplies you are ready to start packing. Give yourself enough time. Start your packing with items you do not need. Pack up dishes and glasses ahead of time and remember to use clean newsprint or wrapping paper and cushion around all glass items, everything.

Label all the boxes appropriately, i.e., “bathroom materials” This way the movers know exactly where to go with the designated boxes and you won’t be lugging a box of bathroom supplies from the living room to your bathroom. Make sure to label the boxes with permanent markers so nothing on the boxes that’s noted can be removed.
Decide what you will do with live plants. We suggest you might give them to a friend or relative, donate to hospitals or assisted living centers. Sell your plants at a rummage sale or flee market.
Time to make pet travel arrangements and make sure they are up to date at the veterinarian. Many states require pet health certificates and rabies inoculations. Be sure that identification and rabies tags are securely attached to your pet's collars.
Arrange for transportation of pets. Whether you take them in the car or send via air or bus remember to get moving advice from your vet. One option is to board pets either at destination or at a kennel near your present home until you are settled in the new city. Be warned that is an expensive option.
Return library books and any borrowed tools to friends or neighbors, pick up any dry cleaning you may have at the cleaners, and pick up any items you may have loaned out.
Keep packing try to pack several boxes each day and remember to mark them on the side and top as to the destination of the box at your new home. 
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1 - 2 Days before Moving Day

You should have almost everything packed and ready to go. Check closets including the top shelves, cabinets top to bottom, storage spaces or lockers and the attic. If you live in the mid west you have the basement to pack as well. Basements are great for storage but usually loaded with spiders and creepy crawlers so take the time to shake everything out now.
It is your responsibility to see that all mechanical and electrical equipment is properly serviced and ready for shipping prior to the arrival of the moving van or truck. If you have failed to have an article serviced, the van operator may load and haul it but may indicate on the inventory sheet "Not Serviced."
Unplug all refrigerators and freezers 24 hours in advance of a move, clean and leave open to dry out. Unplug home computers, stereos, and audio/video equipment. Computer equipment should be packed and moved with extreme caution. Again remember to back up your data and ship that separately. 
Don't wait until the last moment to deal with your water bed. It can take more than two hours just to drain a large water bed so do it the day before you plan to move it.  

Working with Packers

Before the packers arrive you may want to organize items into stacks if you want them packed together, such as toys or crafts. Point out very fragile items needing special attention and any boxes you want to be first off the truck at your destination. Mark or tag any items you do not want packed or moved. Be on hand and monitor the packers, this is a good time to make a box log and number each box so you will know what is in each box.
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Moving Day

Be sure that everything is packed before moving day, you will want to be free to monitor the loading and logging of the items on the property inventory. It is your responsibility to see that all of your property is loaded on the truck safely, so remain on the premises until all loading is complete. After making a final inspection tour of the house, check and sign your moving inventory. Get your copy from the van operator and keep it safe.
Approve and sign the Bill of Lading/Freight Bill. It states the terms and conditions under which your goods are moved and is also your receipt for the shipment. Be sure to complete and sign the declared valuation statement. Complete and sign the High-Value Inventory form, whether or not items of extraordinary value are included in the shipment. You also need to sign and date the "Extraordinary (Unusual) Value Article Declaration" box on the Bill of Lading, if applicable to your shipment. Make sure the van operator / mover has the exact destination address. Be sure to let the van operator know how you can be reached, including phone numbers for you and a second contact person who can reach you in case of an emergency. If you do not have a cell phone you may want to keep one house phone connected and working throughout the entire move. After the movers leave and you finish any last minute calls be sure to pack the phone.
Before the movers drive off from the pick-up location, make sure to do one last walk through of the house with the foremen of the movers to make sure everything that you want to be loaded is on the truck and nothing is left behind. Be sure to go through your moving checklist to make sure everything is correct.
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Last Minute Moving Tips

Take a last look around, make sure you have not left anything?
● Check basements, crawl spaces, attics, turn down water heater.
UUtilities arranged for disconnection or transfered to new owners?
Shut off AC and furnace? Winter months heat to lowest setting?
If leaving appliances unplug and leave refrigerator / freezer doors open.
Lights and ceiling fans off?
House locked up securely? Lock all windows & doors. 
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Delivery Day Moving Checklist

If at all possible you will want to be on hand to accept delivery. If you cannot be there personally, be sure you authorize an adult that you trust to be your representative, accept delivery and pay the charges for you.
The van operator should attempt to contact you by phone and/or will make an appearance at your destination residence. If you are unable to accept delivery of your shipment within the allowed waiting time per your moving contract (i.e., two hours) you should contact the van operator or your moving representative ASAP to make secondary arrangements. Extra charges may be enforced if you are unable to accept delivery in a set amount of time. 
Inspect your household goods as they are unloaded from the truck, watch for major damage from crushing or scratches on appliances or furniture. If there is a change in the condition of the property from that which was noted on the inventory at the time of loading or if any items are missing, note discrepancies on the van operator's copy of the inventory sheet. By signing the inventory sheet, you are acknowledging receipt of all items listed. you will want to personally report any loss or damage to your salesperson or move coordinator as soon as possible.
Be available to direct the movers. When unloading, the movers should place your furniture as you direct including the laying of rugs and setting up any beds disassembled at time of loading. It is generally the owners responsibility to unpack mattresses and set up the appliances. For an additional charge, your salesperson or move coordinator can arrange for for you complete setup for appliances and large furniture pieces. The movers are not obligated to rearrange your furniture.
Bad weather on moving day!
Consider using a Carpet Protection Tape and Dispensers to keep the carpet clean.
If you live in a northern state you may want to allow electronics and computers 24 hours for them to adjust to room temperatures before plugging in to AC power and using.

Tips by State

New York State Moving Tips

If you're moving within New York State, read the New York State Department of Transportation's Consumer Tips. You should also read a booklet titled Summary of Information for Shippers of Household Goods, prepared by the New York State Department of Transportation and which your mover is required by law to provide to you.

If you are making an interstate move, you should read the The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Your Rights & Responsibilities When You Move. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also provides valuable information for interstate moves in News Releases Related to Moving Household Goods? Check out your mover with the New York Better Business Bureau                                                         Back to Top

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