1. Virtual tours
The real estate business is an industry that has adapted to the world of COVID-19 quite well. The most notable change is the preponderance of virtual tours for those looking to rent a home or apartment.
Smart devices have helped property owners and managers create virtual tours like those once reserved for high-end properties only. Utilize virtual tours to find your next home easily and affordably. When you shop for a new home or apartment online you can view many properties in very little time.
There is no need to travel and you can explore neighborhoods, schools, hospitals and shopping to find the perfect area to live in. In 2020, fortunately, you can easily sift through neighborhood guides in cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and many more online. Many agents and property management companies have made it super simple, even using QR codes to share listings, among other tech tools.
2. Begin early and be organized
Moving is generally a challenging event. To reduce the amount of stress and potentially lower the cost of your move avoid the need for frantic, last minute calls to movers and begin planning as early as possible. When using a professional moving company call and book the date at least a month ahead of the move.
You may qualify for a discount for booking early. Create an organized plan for the move. List the things that must be done and put them in chronological order. If you are packing your own boxes begin with the least used rooms first.
Make a list, on paper or digitally, of what is in each box. Number the boxes and record the numbers on your inventory list. This will be important when you unpack. Mark each box with its location in your new home. This will save you money by allowing the movers to place boxes in the correct room immediately, rather than spending time moving them from room to room in your new home. Movers are usually paid by the hour.
3. Take, donate and toss
Before you begin to pack all your stuff, look at each item with a critical eye. If you have not worn an article of clothing in years and it is in wearable condition, consider donating to a local shelter.
Outerwear that is not appropriate for your new location should also be donated. Recreational equipment that is no longer used can be given to a camp for kids. Finally, household items and clothing that are no longer usable should be disposed of.
There is no sense spending your time packing stuff that you are going to throw away anyway. Culling your belongings before a move will save time and money.
4. Where are you going?
Are you making a local, cross country or global move? This will determine the arrangements you will make. A local move may simply involve borrowing a friend’s truck — and your friend’s muscles — then loading up and heading across town.
If you are moving a lot of heavy furniture or many rooms of stuff you may want to hire local movers. You can find local movers on Craigslist, on neighborhood websites, or you can consider companies like Two Men and a Truck.
A cross country move will require a little bit of research on your part. Vet any moving companies before you sign a contract. You will want to make sure the company is licensed by the FMCSA — the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration.
Ask to see the company’s proof of insurance document. Get quotes from multiple companies and pay heed to the expression, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.” If you get quotes from three or four companies, they should have similar price ranges.
Choose the company with the best reputation and reviews. Insist on a written contract with any specifics you request clearly marked on the contract. The contract can be paper or digital; it is important that you keep the contract available should a problem arise.
5. Rent a truck
If it is feasible to move your own stuff but you drive a tiny car or do not own a car, rent a truck. Renting a truck is an easy way to get the move done without involving a lot of strangers and it is relatively inexpensive. U-Haul and Penske are two well-known truck rental companies. They have staff members who can help you figure out which truck you will need to make your move as efficient as possible.
Choosing the right sized truck can make your move affordable also. Renting the wrong sized truck may mean you will be making more than one trip, and that will cost money. Just like you need to understand how much rent you can afford, you should also know what moving costs you can afford, too.
6. Container Moves
If the idea of driving a super large vehicle creates an anxious feeling, you may want to contact a company that specializes in container moves. The last 20 years have seen a growth in this type of move. Packing your own boxes and filling a moving container yourself can save you hundreds of dollars.
Some container suppliers can also supply you with movers at both your current home and your destination, for a fee of course. PODS and U-Haul are two of the most trusted names in container storage. There is a website called Moving Feedback that lists the pros and cons of the major container storage companies.
7. Last things to do
If only you could wiggle your nose and magically have all your stuff packed, moved and perfectly arranged in your new home! Magical moves, however, are not possible. Add these next few items to your To-Do list to make the move as smooth as possible:
Call all utility companies to shut off or change the responsible party for the last day at your current home. An extra month’s charge is unnecessary. Cable and internet service providers should also be called with cut off dates, and equipment returned. There is no sense paying to mail rented equipment back to the provider. Your insurance company will have to be notified of your change of residence.
If you are moving to a larger or smaller place, your insurance rates may change. An insurance agent will be able to advise you concerning the type and amount of insurance you should have.
By taking the time to organize and prioritize the things you have to do, you can ensure that you have the most affordable move with the least amount of stress.