Do you hate moving? Wouldn’t it be nice to reduce stress when moving? Maybe just throw everything away and start fresh? I think if I were going to move again, that’s what I would want to do. Although, in reality, I’d probably keep my favorite things, like all my electronics (I really really like electronics), jewelry, books, and clothes. Okay, fine. I’ll admit, I’d probably want to keep EVERYTHING!
Moving is stressful. Moving is one of the most stressful things in a person’s life. It’s right up there with death of a loved one and losing a job! Scary stuff, right? To make things a little easier I’ve put together some of the top tips we’ve come across as moving experts (when I’m not blogging, sometimes even when I am, I own a moving company here in Washington state) to remove or at least reduce stress when moving.
Number 1: Plan ahead
This is the first thing you must do to reduce stress when moving. Don’t wait until the last minute to start looking for a home. To start packing. To schedule your moving day so you can have helpers assist! I recommend planning at least one month ahead of time. If you want to move right after your children’s school year ends, start your plans around the first of May.
This gives you plenty of time to look for a new home, which isn’t always as easy as one might hope. As you are looking for a new home, plan your moving day. This will help you. Whether you are trying to save money by offering pizza and pitchers of ice cold water to your friends and family, or you prefer the hassle free way of hiring professionals, you will have a date in mind. Most people who start hiring a month, or more, out of their preferred moving date, are able to get that day! Many who wait till the week before spend many stressful hours on the phone, or have their hastily made plans changed regardless of their wishes.
Finally, this allows you to start slowly packing up your nonessentials. It also allows you to start the decluttering process – which saves you money if hiring the pros, or the backs of friends and family if they’re the helpers!
Number 2: Decide who will help you move – Another way to reduce stress when moving
As I mentioned, offering pizza and ice water go a long way in finding friends and family to provide the muscle needed on moving day. You can hire a U-Haul truck or gather a fleet of your friends’! Just make sure to have plenty of tie downs, hand carts, and the like on hand for moving and securing your loads.
There is another way to have help and reduce stress when moving – hire professionals. I feel this is a big step, one that should NOT be taken lightly. It’s a big thing to trust and allow strangers into your home. Your private domain. Be very careful of who you allow inside. Check out your options.
Most people don’t realize that here in Washington State moving is a highly regulated industry. The government places controls on everything from our hourly rates, to how we write our estimates, and, yes, even if we’re allowed to move you at all! The process of becoming a licensed moving company is extensive, and, usually, takes 1-2 years.
Although I’ve explained this to many people, I occasionally get a response like the following: “Why does it matter if they’re licensed or not? What are they gonna do?” I’ll admit, that question makes me wince, just a little. Some of the horror stories I’ve heard regarding non-licensed movers include: demanding an increased payment before unloading, loading the truck and just taking off with the lot, and other similar extortionist tactics. There is a reason the government regulates the industry. The big question is how can you tell a licensed mover from an unlicensed one? Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as checking reviews. There have been some 5-star unlicensed moving companies on Yelp!
Here’s how you go about checking your prospective Washington State moving company out:
- First, locate your prospective moving company’s Household Goods Carrier ID#. This is a 6 digit number usually preceded by either THG (a Temporarily approved carrier), HG, or HHG (these last two are essentially the same thing). This should be located on any and all correspondence from the company. If they haven’t shared it with you, ask for it. If they don’t respond, run!
- Then, visit this website: https://www.utc.wa.gov/regulatedIndustries/transportation/householdGoods/Pages/PermittedCarriersHouseholdGoods.aspx and search for just 1 word of their name. Unfortunately, the search engine is incredibly specific in how it searches. A Search for “B&Z” won’t find us because we are licensed as B & Z Moving L.L.C. However, if you search for “Moving” it will bring up an alphabetized listing for you to look over.
- Finally, double check that the THG, HG, or HHG number match up with the company name, or doing-business-as name, of the moving company, just in case someone is trying to pull a fast one.
You can click on the company’s listing if you’d like. It will give you a little bit of additional information about mailing addresses and their status as an active moving company. And there you have it. By following those simple steps, you can ensure that the company you are dealing with is legitimate and properly licensed to move within Washington State. The protection that offers can’t be overstated. It gives you a government entity to fall back on should something untoward be attempted by the company in question.
Number 3: Pack early
Last tip to follow to reduce stress when moving. Don’t wait until the last minute to start packing. I can tell you from experience, NO ONE wants to come and help you move (whether being paid with money, food, or love) and find they have to stand around as you are packing up your belongings! Not at all. They want to come in and move your belongings safely and speedily! They want that pizza they’ve been promised much sooner rather than later! Additionally, if you wait too long, your movers may not have the extra time it takes to get all your belongings to the new place. Meaning you will have to finish the job by yourself.
More on packing next week.