Once you find a home, you can start concentrating more on the move itself.

Here are some of the things to think about:

  • Will you hire a professional moving company to move your current household goods?
  • Are you planning on moving your current household goods yourself? 
  • Who will do the packing and unpacking?
  • Will I need additional insurance on my household goods?
  • How long will those household goods be in transit, and what will we do without them?

Choosing A Professional Mover

You need to be able to trust your mover. In a corporate relocation, your company often chooses the moving firm you’ll be using – a vendor with a vested interest in providing good service that generates repeat relocation business. But if the choice is up to you, here are some things you can do to increase the odds of hiring a reputable mover:

  • Use a moving company with a long history in the moving business.
  • Use a company that has a considerable supply of equipment, manpower, and facilities.
  • Check them out with the Better Business Bureau.®
  • Ask for 3 to 6 references of people they’ve recently helped, and call the references.
  • Find out what, if anything, the company does to screen its employees.
  • Find out if there is a professional association for moving companies in your state that can recommend a member company that meets their standards. If you’re moving between states, look for a household goods mover registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/.


If your moving company is handling your packing, they should arrive prepared with plenty of good quality materials for the job. If you choose to pack your own belongings, treat the packing job as if you were a professional.

Here are some quick tips:

  • Don’t skimp on box quality or padding.
  • Number your boxes and keep a good list of what’s in each one.
  • When you’re deciding which things can be packed together, take a careful look at how breakable each item might be.

Moving Insurance

Don’t assume that standard moving insurance will be adequate. The basic plans only offer a few cents per pound for coverage. Get a realistic level of protection for your belongings by upgrading your moving insurance to declared value or full value protection.

A Few Moving-Day Tips

The most important thing you’ll need on moving day is a sense of humor. Things are bound to go wrong, and there’s little if anything to be gained by getting upset when they do. Just roll with the punches. This is especially important if you have young children moving with you. If you’re feeling edgy and upset, they can very easily pick up on that mood, making an already challenging day just that much tougher.

You should also pre-pack your car and bags the way you would for any long trip. Take a cell phone, plenty of snacks and beverages, a first aid kit, a blanket, and any other survival supplies you might need. If you’re moving in winter, make sure you bring along enough cold-weather gear for everybody and snow gear if there’s a chance of hitting snowy weather while you’re traveling.

You may also want to bring along anything you don’t feel comfortable entrusting to the movers, like rare antiques, jewelry, cash, expensive collectibles, or works of art. You may also want to carry some of your most cherished family photographs with you, just in case anything happens to your belongings in transit.

Finally, if you can’t ship them securely in advance, you’ll want to take along a collection of important papers such as passports and medical records.

Special Considerations For Pets

If you’re moving with pets, there are a few things you should do to prepare them for the move:

  • No more than a week before the move, take your pets for a complete checkup by a veterinarian certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This certified checkup is sometimes required before taking pets on an airplane or before crossing certain state lines.
  • Feed your pet a very light meal before traveling.
  • Keep your pet in a snug and secure carrier both for its protection and to help it have a greater sense of security.
  • Be sure to always have plenty of fresh water available.
  • Plan to give dogs exercise every couple of hours.
  • Be wary of giving pets tranquilizers to keep them calm during the trip. Such medications can sometimes have the opposite effect and make pets excitable.

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