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Relocation Services and Moving Guide
Relocation can be stressful, to say the least, even if you're moving to an excellent no fee apartment in NYC, the best city in the world. The key to a successful relocation is taking it all one step at time.
From assessing moving companies and their price quotes to buying moving boxes and packing, to finding moving storage and all of the boring logistics (turning utilities off and on; forwarding mail, to name just two mundane details) of what is actually an exciting and pretty emotional process--saying goodbye to one home, and hello to another—it's impossible to do everything at once, and completely overwhelming to even think about it all at the same time. So: make lists, check things off one by one, and before you know it you'll find yourself comfortable in your new life, in your new home.
A Good Moving Checklist Can Be Your Most Valuable Tool
There are dozens of moving checklists available on line that will help you in almost any sort of relocation, whether you're moving across the country or just around the block; using a moving company to do everything or renting a truck and doing it all yourself (with, hopefully, your five or six best friends); moving from a large house to an apartment with much less square footage or upgrading from a studio apartment to, say, a nice two bedroom apartment.
Many of these moving checklists, especially the ones put together by specific moving companies, or moving boxes manufacturers, have a clear agenda behind their (albeit sometimes quite sound) advice. The best moving checklists we've found tend to be from neutral sources, and that's where Urban Edge comes to the rescue. We've put together the Urban Edge Moving Checklist to provide you with an unbiased guide to making your move go as smooth as possible.
Moving Companies: Finding the Right One For Your Move
Perhaps the most important decision you'll make in any sort of relocation process—after actually choosing your new home, of course—is in hiring a moving company. Even you're just looking at moving companies to help haul your stuff from a few blocks away, from your current small apartment to your new small apartment—no packing or unpacking, just loading and unloading the truck—the difference between hiring reliable workers backed by an honest organization and sloppy can mean hundreds of dollars and lots of unnecessary anxiety.
Horror stories are legion, some of which we've lived through: of moving companies that take your deposit and never show up again, leaving you on moving day with no truck, no help, an apartment filled with boxes, and no more time on your lease; of sloppy packing and klutzy hauling, leading to broken possessions or, in the case of irreplaceable items, broken hearts; and, most commonly, of moving companies "revising" their estimate, sometimes by 150% or more, on day of the move itself, when you're exhausted and frantic and will agree to anything just get it done.
The good news: many moving companies are honest, hard-working, and helpful, and there are several easy steps you can take to avoid those that are less so, most of which involve just a little research and a lot of communication. For example, after doing a little pre-screening with consumer advocacy sites, make sure during the in-house estimate phase (if it's a big move, you should get a least three or four moving companies to do this) that you remember to include everything you want moved, including outdoor items as well as stuff in the closets, attic and/or basement.
Also, be sure to let the mover know if the building you're moving into (and out of, if they don't do an onsite estimate) is a walk-up, and if so, how many flights of stairs are involved. You don't want the movers to get to your apartment building, and suddenly want to add a surcharge for all of the stairs (it has happened to many people). Disclose this upfront, and make sure the estimate includes the number of flights the movers will have to carry your belongings.
Even a written binding estimate, or a not-to-exceed binding estimate can be challenged on moving day if the moving company feels as if there are substantially more items than previously estimated. At that point, on moving day, tired and stressed, you are pretty much at their mercy.
Details, Details: Moving Boxes, Moving Storage, Renting Your Own Moving Trucks
As with any complicated mission, relocation of any sort is filled with dozens of small details. The more smoothly each thing goes, the greater security you'll feel from start to finish. Take moving boxes, for instance. If you're packing everything yourself, shop around a bit. Most local movers will sell you moving boxes and packing supplies even if you're not using them to do the actual move. Big box retail outlets such as Staples and Home Depot also sell moving boxes in many sizes, and for specialty items, such as wardrobe moving boxes.
Moving storage could be ideal for you if your relocation involves moving from a large house to a smaller apartment, and you don’t want to sell or donate everything that can't fit in your new home. Many of the larger moving companies will take care of hauling and storing your temporarily unwanted items on the same day as your move, saving you time and money. Finally, if you're looking to rent moving trucks and do all of the packing, hauling, and driving yourself, the same rules apply: do your research, and make sure you understand and can communicate exactly what you need.