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The Home Depot

Essential Steps to Planning a Move

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Moving > Essential Steps to Planning a Move
Essential Steps to Planning a Move

There are many different reasons to move to a new place. Maybe you just got your dream job, maybe you want to be closer to your family, or maybe you are trying to get away from family. Whatever the case, a move is a big event and it’s important that you do it right.


We are a nation of movers and shakers. According to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, fiver years after graduation, 30 percent of graduates no longer live in the state where they attended college. Additionally, 35 percent no longer live in the state where they went to high school. That’s a lot of moving around. And if you do it right, it can almost be fun.

  1. 1.Call Someone You Trust

    Moving can be stressful, but being smart and organized can make even the most complicated move very simple.

    When you hire a moving company, you are putting the contents of your life in someone else’s hands. That means you should hire people you feel comfortable with. First, make sure you feel comfortable with the company. They will be handling the closest parts of your life, so you should feel safe putting your belongings in their hands. Ask them about experience – especially if you have unique or pricy possessions. Another good thing to do is ask around to see what kind of reputation they have. Customer service usually leaves a lasting mark, whether it be very good or very bad. Finally, make sure your mover is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Using your head and doing a bit of a background check will go a long way to help protect your from fraudulent companies. You can also use sites like Red Beacon or ask friends and neighbors who they have had good (or bad) experiences with.

  2. 2.Get It In Writing

    Make sure everything is as clear as possible before the move. If you are moving out of Texas to another state, moving companies are obligated by law to provide you with a statement of your rights and responsibilities. Make sure you read it carefully. Movers and brokers must provide a written estimate. They should also provide you with three things: an order for service, a bill of landing and an inventory list. The order for service lists all the services the mover will perform. The Bill of Lading is the contract between you and the mover and a receipt of your belongings. The inventory list will show each item being moved and it’s condition. Do not sign blank or incomplete documents. Read everything carefully and keep copies for your records.

  3. 3.Survey Your Stuff

    Once you’ve found a company you like, figure out what you are taking, where you are taking it and how much it will cost. They will probably want to come to your house to take a look at everything you will be packing so that they can prepare an estimate. Make sure you show them everything you need moved, because last minute add-ons can mean more is added on to your bill. Also, try to be there when everything is being unloaded at the new place. If you can’t be there, have a trusted friend or family member take your place.

  4. 4.Pack Smart

    Even though you’re getting help, chances are you’ll still be doing some of the packing yourself. The best way to do that is by having a plan. Make a list of everything you have to do, then section it off in bite-sized doses. At the top of your list could be things that won’t inconvenience your family’s day-to-day activities. That could be things like deciding what will move and what goes in the trash, and packing up the things not used often first. Also, make sure you clearly label the contents of all boxes. It may not seem like a big deal in the rush of getting everything packed, but it’ll save a lot of headache and confusion during the unpacking process.


    Moving can be stressful, but being smart and organized can make even the most complicated move very simple.

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