ways to prepare for your move

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How do I start?

The earlier the better! The most successful moves come with a plan. Decide how much work you want to do, if any, and have a consultation with a moving representative about the cost and organizing your move. When calling around to find your mover, there are many questions you can ask the company to help understand the moving process, the cost, your rights and to learn what is expected of you as a customer. Before calling the movers, you need to decide what type of service you want (full or partial service, loading service or in-home moving, etc), and if you are planning on doing any of the work yourself (packing, moving boxes, etc). Once you know what you're looking for in a mover, write down all your questions so you are ready. Some common questions for the moving company:

  • Do you service my area?
  • Are you licensed with the State of Michigan and properly insured?
  • Can you provide me with proof of your companies credentials?
  • How do you charge? Is it by the hour, pounds, load, miles, etc?
  • What size trucks do you have?
  • What happens if something gets damaged during the move?
  • How much experience do the movers have?

It is a good idea to take an inventory of all items that will be moved. They will also need to know more about your move. Some common questions the moving company may ask:

  • What is your current address and the new address?
  • What are the items to be moved? 
  • Do you need the movers to break down and set back up items, such as, beds, legs from tables, mirrors from dressers? 
  • Do you have any stairs or elevator at either location?
  • Do you have any specialty items, such as piano, safe, jukebox, etc?
  • How many boxes will need to be moved?  
  • When would you like to be moved?

It is recommended that you call three moving companies before making your decision. Take notes on each company. While we know money can be a concern, don't let it be the only deciding factor. There are so many movers out there that claim to be the real deal and in reality scamming and cheating customers. Usually, it is a red flag if a company is offering cost at a much lower rate than their competitors. They may not be a legal company (no license or insurance) or they may have inexperienced movers. If you're not totally sold on the companies that you have spoken to, keep calling. There are plenty of movers in the industry, you will find the right one simply by doing a little homework before you schedule your move.


I've booked my movers. Now what do I do?

Typically, there are so many decisions that need to be made when moving. About a month prior to moving, walk through your home, take a close look at all of your belongings and decide which items you want to take to your new home. So many of us collect things from all sources throughout the years. Sometimes the accumulation can be overwhelming when moving. Often, people keep transporting unwanted stuff from home to home. Not only does this waste time to pack, load and move, but it also waste money that it cost in handling each item. It doesn't have to be a burden anymore. Deciding what will go with you and what you want to let go of is the biggest step in this process.  The next part is getting rid of the old stuff. There are many ways you can do this. You will just need to see which method is best for you. You may decide on multiple methods depending on your situation and the items.  

Use a File System

As you go through all of your things, it helps to have a system to file each item, such as bins labeled trash, donate, recycle, sell, keep, etc. Enlist a friend or family member to help, so it goes faster and you have a little fun.

Trash: Some items that may be hazardous or explosive cannot be disposed of in the regular trash. Large items, like couch or refrigerator may need to be picked-up on special days. Contact your city for questions or concerns before disposing.

Donate: If you want to give items for donation, you may want to check with the donation center to make sure they accept your items. Most centers do not take mattresses and many do not take the older electronics. Some centers will pick-up your old furniture, but may not move it if stairs are involved. If you have chosen us for your moving services, we can drop the donations off at the center. 

Recycle: Some of your items may need to be recycled. Check with your city on the process and recycle locations.

Sell: If your items have some value, you may want to sell them. Tell family, friends and co-workers about your sale item. Post your item on Facebook or other sites. Be careful when selling items by this method as there are many scammers online. 

Keep: Once you know which items you are keeping you may want to clean it and organize with like items before moving. 

Overwhelmed? Try to simplify your stuff?

You can simplify by scaling down as you are going through all of your stuff. Start your task one area or room at a time. To save time, make cleaning a part of the process. When trying to determine whether it's a keeper or not, try using the file system into categories, such as:

  • I do use it.
  • I do not use it or haven't used it in over a year.
  • It brings me joy.
  • It is broken or no value and no joy.


Some common ways to simplify:


Clean out your closet: Moving is the best chance to really scale down on clothing, shoes, handbags, etc. Often, closets hold a large portion of non-used or outdated things that could be serving a better purpose in someone else's closet. Try on every piece of clothing to determine if you want to keep it. Only the ones that you are happy with how it fits and looks should go back in the closet. Have all the hangers facing the same way in the closet. After you wear the clothes, wash it and put it on the hanger. Place the hanger back in the closet facing the opposite direction from the other hangers. If you don't like this method, you can just put the worn items on the rights hand side of closet. In a few weeks, check the status of everything hanging in your closet. Now you can see the clothes that you wear the most and the ones that you have not worn at all. Now you should consider those items for sale or donations.   


Books: Sometimes, it is difficult to let go of books. We read them once and put them on a shelf to sit for, far too often, years. Books are heavy and take space. It's time to take an inventory of your library. Check every book for damage, 


Food: Go through every food item in pantry, refrigerator and freezer. Throw out expired items. About a month prior to your move, you'll want to start using as much food as you can from your current supply. Moving companies usually do not move any non-shelf foods. If you have a lot, you may want to consider donating a portion to a food kitchen. 


Housewares: Clean out your cupboards, cabinets, junk drawers, basement, etc. Sort everything using the bins file system. It may help to add categories like electronics, kitchen, clothing/linen, office or school, etc. Organize like items, get rid of duplicates and unused/unwanted items. 


Toys: Through the years, children can accumulate an excessive amount of toys. Have your child go through the items with you. This helps to get them prepared for the move and teaches them about decision making and giving to other children that are less fortunate. 


Moving or Garage Sale: A good way to scale down is to have a sale. Check with your city to see if there are any regulations or cost for a permit to have the sale. After the sale, you can try to sell any remaining items online.