Finding The Best Mover
Moving to a new home can be an exciting journey. Whether youre changing cities or moving to a new neighborhood, a move is not only a change of scene, its the start of a new chapter in your life.
Yet, moving can also be very stressful, often seeming like one thing after another has to be done. By finding the right moving service, you can avoid most of the common moving headaches.
According to Mayflower.com, finding a good moving service begins with asking someone you know - a family member, coworker or a friend about their moving experiences, good or bad.
Your real estate professional can also be an excellent source of information. And if youre being transferred, ask your >
Large industry organizations such as American Moving and Storage Association have associate members listed on their Web sites. These associate moving company members must agree to abide by the terms of the organizations published tariffs and to participate in the Arbitration Program sponsored by the organization, which may be positive for consumers.
Although the AMSA doesnt recommend movers, a list of members is posted on the site, along with helpful hints. The AMSA does suggest getting several estimates in order to compare cost and range of services.
Consumer organizations such as the Better Business Bureau can give you additional insights. If the company is registered through BBB, then you can find all >
From planning your move, to storing your things, to packing and unpacking, to decorating and organizing your belongings in your new home, you can choose the extent of services you require and have them tailored to suit your moving budget.
When you compare price and service estimates from several moving companies, you will find that estimates are based on the weight of your household items, the distance they will be moved, and the amount of packing and other services you will require.
Be sure to show the estimator every single item that will be moved. Find out if your mover accepts credit cards, third- party payments from your company, and whether the mover operates by cash only.
Negotiations with your mover should include a clear understanding of rates and charges that will apply, the movers liability for your belongings, pick-up and delivery schedules, and claims protection. If your estimate is binding, it will not cover non-itemized items. Non-binding estimates are not guaranteed rates, and only cover the weight of your shipment and the cost of the moving services. An estimate still has to be performed before a mover will provide you with a binding contract.
If youre moving interstate, you should read and understand all of the information you will receive. In addition to brochures explaining their various services, moving companies should give you a copy of a consumer booklet entitled "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" and information regarding the movers participation in a Dispute Settlement Program. Distribution of the consumer booklet and the requirement that movers must offer shippers neutral arbitration as a means of settling disputes that may arise concerning loss or damage on household goods shipments are requirements of the Federal Highway Administration FHWA.
Start planning your move
Deciding what to pack isnt as simple as it sounds, particularly if youre downsizing, but the amount of goods as well as the type of goods youre moving can make a big difference in which mover you choose and how much youll spend.
A good rule of thumb is to group items into no more than three categories - Keep, Donate, Throw Away. Label your things according to the rooms where theyll be moved -- bedroom 2, first floor powder bath by stairs, etc. Provide your movers with copies of the floorplan of your new home, so they can move more efficiently without having to stop and ask you where things go.
Lastly, remember that the movers, though they are professionals, will get tired. On the Chicago-based Bernard Movers website, the movers advise keeping boxes under 50 pounds whenever possible. They also strongly recommend putting heavier items in smaller boxes to reduce bulkiness, and lighter items in larger boxes with proper labeling like "topload."
Even in the most well-planned moves, something can happen.
Insurance is crucial. Check with your homeowners insurance carrier about coverage for your belongings while moving. Your mover will provide either >
If you are not sure how to estimate the value of your belongings for insurance purposes, your insurance carrier may provide suggestions, such as 10,000 per room or half the value of the new home. Items of special value such as heirlooms, paintings, or collectibles can be insured under separate riders.
In the event of damage to an item, file a claim immediately. Be sure to save the packing materials to show to the adjuster, should there be any problems.
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Here a few ideas for creating a porch worthy of time alone with iced tea and a good book:
You dont have to totally remodel your porch or even buy furniture to give it a face lift. Just buy a can of paint and call it a day Painting a door a bright color is like smiling at your neighbors. It can show openness and express personality. Just make sure the color you choose isnt more like a smirk--no one wants to live next to the house with the fuchsia or chartreuse door. This is the perfect solution for people with small porches who dont have a lot of room to work with when it comes to decorating.
This ones a fun one because they are so many ways to make your house numbers more than just a few black or gold digits glued above the door. You can stencil your house numbers on a wooden planter holding flowers. Try making a numbers out of nails hammered into a piece of wood, or gluing pretty numbers to the hanging wreath on your door. You could even stitch your house number onto a big pillow that sits on top of your yard furniture.
If your porch is a hub of activity day and night, one garish yellow-orange porchlight just wont do. Make sure your sitting and/or eating areas are well lit, and go the extra mile by adding lights in your garden or on the steps leading up to your front porch. Just make sure to stock up on citronella candles or tiki torches to keep bugs out of the picture
Few things make people feel quite as welcome as being told that theyre welcome every time they come over. There are plenty of ways to say this, of course, and you should feel free to get creative with the message. Stencil your welcome sign on canvas, or doodle it on a chalkboard that guests can write messages on. You can even get a fancy decal to stick right on your door.
If you have a big front porch, the best part about it is probably the fact that it acts like a whole other room in your house. Maybe your family takes the occasional meal onto the porch, or your neighbors like to stop over for a drink and a chat. If you have a get-together sized porch, make it get-together friendly Dont just slap a few iron chairs and a wobbly table out there and expect people to make themselves at home. Opt for cushy but still weather resistant furniture that lends itself to a few hours of lingering. While seating isnt a must for a small porch, a quality rocking chair might motivate you to spend more time on your porch, and will definitely add to your porchs picturesque quality.
Other than tasty treats and fun family events, the best way to welcome a new season is to show all of your neighbors and guests your sense of spring/fall/Christmas spirit. Decorating for a holiday or season helps us slow down and appreciate the sentiments that that particular time evokes. Just make sure to change decorations in a timely manner so you dont go from being the enthusiastic neighbor to the annoying neighbor whose adorable Halloween ghosts are still lingering in the yard at Thanksgiving.
For more ideas and inspiration for your next home project, head to Modernize.com.