Estimating Moving Time

"Lessee, there's the stuff stored in Ma's chicken coop, the stuff Uncle Chester borrowed and never returned, and the stuff in the back of the pickup. Okay, inventory's done!"

Do you have enough time to sort and give away or pack all that stuff? You'll soon find out as you decide what to move and what to donate to the recycling center.

The ideal move includes not only someone else to do the work for you, but also lots of time. The two usually don't occur together. You may have a moving company to do the work, but with only ten days notice, or you may have a couple months notice, but have to do it all yourself.

The amount of time you have before you move makes quite a difference in how you plan it.

"The boss says we have to move to Cedar Rapids this afternoon!" Not much planning time here! I am hopeful that you saw the change coming and began making notes in your Smart Moving Notebook.

"Got the job! It starts in two weeks but it's 500 miles away. We have to move next week!" How much planning time you have somewhat depends on whether you're moving yourself or being moved. Also, who is hiring the mover: you or a relocation service? The best way to plan for a "next week" move is to review this section, writing needed steps in your Smart Moving Notebook depending on who's in charge of your move. For example, if you or a spouse is managing a do-it-yourself move you should estimate, select a truck, start packing, gather the crew, and go. If a relocation service is handling the move, you still have lots to do: prepare, sort and make an inventory, notify, travel, and move in. This section covers all of these steps.

Okay, we have a little breathing room here—but just a little. You can still save some time and energy by moving smart. You may even have time for a garage sale or a few trips to a charity clothing store. Where to start? Scan the list and suggestions in this section, noting those that apply to your situation and schedule. The list is for an ideal move where there's lots of time for preparation. You may wind up spending evenings and weekends "on the move" instead of at a leisurely pace. But your smart planning will make a smart move.

Some folks get plenty of advance notice for their move. A relocation may start at the beginning of the new fiscal year. A government or military move may be known well in advance. A move into retirement may be planned months or even years in advance of the actual date. Don't let the long-term deadline encourage you to procrastinate. Start planning your move right now. Doing so will give you confidence and reduce the worry factor for your upcoming move. In some cases, folks know for certain that they will be moving, but aren't sure of when. It may be next week, next month, or even next year. This situation can be frustrating. Should I pack everything in marked boxes and unpack if I need something? Should I get a quote from a moving company, knowing that rates will probably change by the time I actually move?

The answer depends on many factors including who will do the actual moving of your household goods: a van line, a rental truck, or your Uncle Harry. Based on your decision, you can develop a chronological list of things to do toward your move. You then work through the list, completing tasks that you think you probably won't have to undo—or unpack. For example, let the mover know that you need an estimate now and an update when you're actually ready to move—whenever that is. Smart movers don't have to live out of boxes!

Moving Words

A moving agent's estimate of the cost of moving your goods is based on weight, mileage, and service requirements (up a flight of stairs, etc.).

 
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