Making a Move? | Shelter Insurance®

Making a Move?

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Packing, unpacking and moving itself are never fun—or easy. Fortunately there are ways to make it a little easier.

Hire a Moving Company?
This is obviously the easiest way to move, and most moving companies have different packages depending on your needs. Some moving companies will come to your house, pack everything, move it to your new house and unload it. All you have to do is unpack the boxes and put things away. Obviously that's ideal; however, it can be the costliest way to go. In fact, The American Moving and Storage Association states that the average cost of an interstate household move is about $4,300 (distance of 1,225 miles) and the average cost of an intrastate move is about $2,300 (4 movers at $200 per hour). Both average moving costs are for 7,400 pounds. But if you have the ability and are willing to put in the work, you can do it yourself and save a lot of money. Just be sure to reserve a moving truck a week or two in advance of your move. If you wait until the last minute, it may be difficult to find one.

Packing Tips
Before you start packing, gather the supplies you'll need—boxes, packing tape, newspaper or other cushioning materials and a marker. Boxes can be expensive, so try getting some from local grocery stores or furniture stores about a week before you move. You can also ask friends who have recently moved if they have any boxes left you can use. Just make sure any boxes you use are in good condition.

As you pack, you may want to start getting rid of anything you no longer want. Just set that stuff aside to donate or toss. In addition, a week or so before you move, go through your closets to see if any there are any clothes or shoes you no longer wear or no longer fit.

Although newspaper, packing peanuts and bubble wrap are good cushioning materials, consider using your linens as well. You have to move your towels and washcloths anyway, so why not use them to wrap breakable items like dishes, pictures and lamps?

Here are some helpful reminders:

  • Don't make the boxes too heavy.
  • Make sure the boxes are closed—they will be much easier to stack in a moving truck.
  • Mark each box with the room it should be put in when unpacking the moving truck. 

Moving the Big Stuff
When you load the moving truck, it's better to put the bigger furniture items towards the front of the truck (near the cab). Cover dressers, tables and any furniture that can be scratched or get dirty with blankets. Most moving trucks come with blankets for this purpose, but if you need more blankets, use the ones you have in your house since you have to move them anyway.

If you're looking for a way to make lifting heavy or awkward items easier, use lifting straps. Lifting straps come in two styles—forearm straps and shoulder dolly straps, and they are meant for two people to use. Simply slide them under the item you're moving and attach the straps to your forearm or shoulders (depending on the type of straps you are using). This reduces the amount of bending you do during your move and could even help prevent back injuries.

The moving truck you rent will likely come with a dolly and a ramp. Most dollies can hold 3-4 boxes and it's easy to roll them up the ramp to load the truck. 

Recruit Helpers
The more people you can recruit to help you move, the faster and easier it will be. To say thank you, be sure you feed your helpers! Order pizza or whatever your moving crew wants, then invite them to a housewarming party when you are all unpacked and settled. And remember to return the favor if your friends ever need you to help them move.