Whether you are buying or selling a Metro DC home, moving your household can present a challenge. Cost, logistics, and timing are prime concerns, along with the security of your possessions. Moving fraud has become a growing problem as third-party, online brokers promote low-cost moving companies who may not be vetted. How do you save money and move your belongings safely?
Start with how complicated your move is likely to be. If you are relocating to Bethesda, MD from Chicago, your concerns will be different than someone who is changing addresses within the D.C. area. Even then, the size of your household and the amount of furnishings can be daunting for a do-it-yourself weekend move. To help with your planning, I have these tips for you:
1. Get familiar with the American Moving & Storage Association. Their website has a wealth of information about preparing for a move.
2. Professional movers are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Visit protectyourmove.gov to find out how to screen your moving company and protect yourself against fraud.
3. To save money with professional movers, consider moving between October and April, when off-season discounts are usually available.
4. Consider using moving pods. The mobile storage unit is placed on your property for you to load. When you’re ready to go, the pod is loaded to the truck and transported by a professional driver to your new home. The pod is left at your new location for however long you specify, giving you plenty of time to unpack.
5. Pack appropriately and mark your boxes. Depending on the nature of your move, you may not need expensive, one-time use cardboard boxes – free, used boxes from your local retailers may be fine. Reinforce boxes along the bottom and edges with masking or duct tape. You can also use bags, suitcases, and plastic storage containers. Take extra care with fragile objects. Wrap breakables in newspaper, blankets, towels – even t-shirts. Mark all boxes with a brief description of contents to make move-in simple.
6. If you rent a truck, be sure to read the fine print carefully. Extra miles and extra time add up quickly. Make sure you have enough help, not just to load – but also to unload, when you reach your destination. If your rental does not include a moving dolly, consider renting it separately, or buying one at your local home improvement store. Be sure to have blankets, tarps, and cords to secure contents within the cargo area. Don’t over-stack. Nothing is worse than hearing a crash inside the truck while you’re on the road.
7. Verify if your move is tax deductible in advance of making your moving plans. If it is, document your expenses and keep receipts!
Planning move to or from the DC Metro area? Contact me for neighborhood information, home sales statistics, and help with your relocation needs! As your Certified Home Luxury Marketing Specialist, my team and I will provide you with professional, first-class service and guidance for DC Metro area real estate.