Making the move right

The kids have flown the nest, and you’re moving to a home that’s easier to manage, financially and physically. But a change of home means making a move – and as anyone who has ever uprooted will attest, the stress factor can be stratospheric.

There’s a lot more to moving than simply throwing your belongings into a few packing cases before shipping them off to your new home. While moving promises the excitement of a different home and neighbourhood, new friends, and a fresh lifestyle, it can also be a time fraught with uncertainty and anxiety.

The key to a smooth move is finding a moving company you can trust. A reputable mover will provide a free quote, and don’t settle for an “uninspected” estimate. If a company wants to give you a quote based solely upon your destination and your “guesstimate” of the weight of your belongings, strike them off your list.

Estimates are based upon a number of criteria, including the weight of your shipment plus charges for extra services such as packing, insurance, storage and distance travelled. Carefully consider all the extras you need – and those you don’t – before beginning your search. Not only will it save time and money, but it wl mean you will be better prepared to refuse any unnecessary extras.

Have at least one company perform an in-home, no-cost, no-obligation inventory, and only if you already have more than one visual quote should you consider getting further quotes without an inspection. Fax copies of your master quote to other movers, including weight, destination, packing, amount of full replacement transit protection and any third party services such as appliance disconnection, reconnection, automobile shipping or storage.

Before committing yourself to a particular mover, satisfy yourself on the following:

  • How do estimates compare? The lowest may not necessarily be the best, particularly if it doesn’t include the extras you need.
  • Does the estimate cover the unexpected, such as extra travel time, negotiating stairs, narrow doorways, inclement weather or unexpected delays during loading or unloading?
  • Can your mover provide authentic references from satisfied customers?
  • Is the estimate binding? Non-binding estimates are only ballpark figures, not a legal contract. Be sure your estimate commits the mover to honour a negotiated price.
  • Will the mover agree to a “best-price estimate?” If so, that amount will be considered the ceiling. If the final weight of your belongings is less than expected, the fee should be lowered.accordingly.
  • Who’s financially responsible for breakages? Any extra insurance you take out should cover this eventuality if it’s not already covered by the mover. Full replacement coverage is a must.
  • Are packing materials included? If not, be sure to ask the cost. It’s not unheard of for companies to charge for extra materials such as tape and foam – things you had expected to be included.
  • Was a written commitment obtained, ensuring the mover will be at the right place at the right time? A professional mover will give a target date, an important consideration if making a long-distance move.