First-Time Mover, Moving With Kids, a Downsizing Move

By Karen Tooley
VanLines.com Staff

Moving for the First Time

A move can be overwhelming the first time; here are tips to make it less so.  

  • If you're making a long-distance move and/or between states, your moving costs will be based on weight. If you're making a local, intrastate move, you'll pay by the hour for your moving help. Know the type of move you have, and ask your moving company to explain how they come up with your estimate. Here are questions for your moving company.

  • Have at least three moving companies come to your house to give you quotes, so they can see exactly what you need moved and ensure the accuracy of your quote. Once you get a quote, make sure you don't just take the lowest bid -- this could just be a moving company bidding low to get your move, and intends to raise the price later.

  • Always get moving quotes in writing after the movers see the items to be moved, and request a guaranteed price.  The services will be outlined in their written estimate.  Any changes you make to those services or to the weight of your shipment may cause your pricing to be voided.  Make sure you discuss changes with your mover beforehand.

  • Start planning early, especially since this is all new to you.  Especially plan well ahead if you're moving in the summer -- that's moving companies' busy time, and they quickly fill up their moving schedule.

Combining Households

The big thing here is to eliminate duplicates in the two households -- it's one thing to have two beds, it's another thing to pay for moving both beds.

  • If you're sharing a moving company, make sure they know they have to make two stops. Items to be moved from both locations should be inventoried and loaded so that unloading goes smoothly.

  • When the goods are coming from two locations, it can be confusing where they go at the new house -- map this out for your movers so they don't have to guess.   

Moving With Children

Moving's hard for kids. Make it easier. Here are some tips for family moving:  

  • Take care with packing, avoiding packing up something that's special to a child.  This includes items a child might sleep with, or favorite toys.  If your mover is doing the packing, be sure you have the items separated before the packing begins so they can have them during the move.

  • Make sure the children are out of the way during the move -- if they get underfoot, they could slow things, and they could even get hurt in all the moving activity. 

Downsizing the Nest

  • Moving cost is often determined by weight, and over the years a senior citizen might have collected many things they probably won't use at their new home.  Inventory the items and determine what they need and don't need.

  • Make sure you have enough space at the new home.

  • After you decide which items you want to move, get rid of everything else.  People often tell the moving company what items need to be shipped, and say some items will not go.  If you change your mind at the last minute on moving day, your pricing can be different.

  • Seniors might have things that have appreciated much in value because they're now antiques. Arrange for their packing and moving appropriately. To be doubly sure, you might want to move them yourself.