Generally speaking, professional movers like to say that they can do everything to do with your move for you. And this is not untrue. For instance, you can be in a foreign country and ask a removal company here to empty your house and move everything to a new place. However, those are atypical situations and, if you do need them, they will cost you a lot of money. If we stick to a regular, run of the mill, house move, there are a few things that DC movers won’t do, nor should you expect them to either.
What Movers Probably Won’t Help You With
Taking an inventory. While you may find a company willing to do this for you, you shouldn’t ask them to. Taking an inventory is a legal matter that you do in order to prove that everything taken in one place arrives at the next one. It would defeat the object to ask your movers to do this for you.
Liaising with utility companies. You have to take meter readings and have utilities switch off in one property and back on in the next one yourself.
Draining down any fuel. This could be held in cars, motorbikes, scooters, lawnmowers, and other things that you may want to be moved. You usually have to drain them for insurance purposes. Some removal companies will be able to do this for you, but don’t count on it.
Running errands. This would make sense, but you would be surprised how often professional movers are asked to quickly get some cigarettes or a bottle of milk while they are driving to the new property, often “since they are passing anyway”. That really isn’t appropriate.
Speaking to your neighbors before the move. If you live in a narrow street, for instance, and a truck would block off the road, it is your responsibility to forewarn your neighbors about that, not that of your removal company. Remember this is true at both ends of your move as well.
Getting rid of trash and leftover belongings in attics, basements, and garages. Yes, removal men will help you to get things out of those spaces and into the removal van, and they will help you put it into your new property as well. They will not, however, sit down and declutter with you. The expectation is that this will all be done for them, and they only have to do the physical side of moving things.
Professional movers are generally incredibly flexible people. They will be more than happy to go above and beyond the terms and conditions in the contract you sign with them. However, there are certain things that they will not do, such as those described above, and it would actually be quite impolite of you to expect anything else. That said, if you really are incapable of doing anything yourself, for instance if you have a physical disability, then special arrangements can generally be made.
Moving home costs money and takes a lot of time. That is what you would expect. However, being properly organized can make a huge difference. You may think lists are a bit retentive, but they do really work. Consider that you need at least six weeks for a move to go by comfortably, so why not make a list for each week, so that you are sure you won’t forget anything. Remember that there is packing to do, administrative things to complete and more. And leave some time for the unexpected things as well.
When you start packing, see it as a chance to spring clean. Do you really need those things that have been in your basement for years? And do also enjoy reminiscing while you are packing, by the way. Physically moving things is also something that you have to consider. There are certain things that will definitely be too bulky for you to carry on your own. Plus, if you have any concerns, don’t engage in heavy lifting at all. Something to put on your checklist: find some friends to help with the lifting!
Naturally, you can also choose to work together with a removal company. If so, make sure that you book the well in advance. There are some very busy moving times during the year, and moving companies can be booked up months before already. At the same time, you have to properly research the different companies. A few things to put on your checklist are the things to look for in a removals company (do they provide boxes, are they insured, are they registered with a professional body, what kind of experiences have other people had?). Similarly, if you will use a storage facility, you also have to do some research in terms of where to go. Perhaps you already use a storage facility, in which case you don’t really have to add this one to your checklist.
Then, there is your administration. You have to change addresses with all your standard affairs, such as your banks and insurance companies. Take the time to compare the market in terms of your home utilities (gas, water, electricity, internet, telephone, television) and things such as home insurance. You also need to think about your medical registrations, such as your family physician, dentist, and pharmacy. Depending on where you are moving to, you may have to change them. The same is true for your children’s schools and yours and their hobbies and pursuits. Think about things such as the gym, swimming pools, libraries, clubs and so on.
These things should really help you to make the move at least a little bit easier.