Tips for an Easy Moving Day

Ahead of Time

Try to schedule the closing on your old home for a day or two after your move. This will help reduce the stress of having to be available to your movers and closing on the same day.

Arrange to have your children stay with a friend or relative during the move.

Charge your cell phone battery the night before (and make sure you take the charger with you).

Go to bed early the night before the move so you will be well rested. Then eat a good breakfast the morning of your move.

Keep all personal items (e.g., clothing, passports, medications, checkbook, cell phone charger, and jewelry) that will be traveling with you (i.e., in your vehicle) separate from the items to be packed and moved. This will prevent them from being loaded on the truck and having to be found later.

Have the agreed upon moving funds available on your moving day.

Day of the Move – at your current residence

While the movers are packing, be available in case there are any questions.

Watch the driver prepare your inventory sheet and ask questions if you disagree with the description he is recording.

The Bill of Lading is your legal contract — read it carefully before you sign it.

Make sure to get a copy of your Bill of Lading and your inventory sheet before your driver leaves.

Do a final walk through with the driver to be sure all closets and storage areas are empty and nothing was missed.

Make sure to give the movers good contact information in case they need to reach you while on the road.

Make sure you have given the moving company your correct new address.

Please provide the movers and helpers with restroom facilities and a clean water supply (either individual bottles or cups).

Day of the Move – at your new residence

Be available to tell the mover where you want your furniture placed. (One location per item please!)

Supervise the unloading and unpacking.

Carefully check for any possible missing or damaged items at the time of delivery and be sure to note these on the inventory before the movers leave.

Be aware that no matter how prepared you are, things occasionally go wrong. Junior will decide he needs his favorite toy that is packed in the bottom box that the movers already placed on the truck. Meanwhile your dog has decided to chase the neighbor’s cat one more time. And everyone you ever knew will drop by for a final chat!

Relax, this is a normal part of moving – enjoy your new home!!!


Consumer Tips on Moving (from the NY State DOT)

Find out if a mover is licensed by the State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) for moves wholly within New York, and by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for moves between New York and another state. Although unlicensed movers may be cheaper than licensed movers, licensed movers must meet various insurance, safety and financial standards. Don’t take unnecessary risks by using a mover who won’t give you an address, telephone number or license number.

Before selecting a mover, know and understand your rights. If you are moving entirely within New York, ask the NYS DOT for its Summary of Information for Shippers of Household Goods. If you are moving out of New York, obtain a copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move from the United States Department of Transportation.

Check out the mover. For information about an intrastate mover, contact NYS DOT at 1-800-786-5368. In addition, call the Better Business Bureau at 212-533-6200 (New York City area) and 1-800-828-5000 (elsewhere in the State).

Get estimates from different movers based on a physical inspection of your home or apartment. Be wary of any estimate that is far less than the figures offered by other movers. This could be a “low-ball” bid that will be hiked up at the time of your move.

Before anything is moved, make sure the mover gives you a written “Order for Services” which sets forth the probable cost of the move and how much you will have to pay to have your property unloaded if the actual cost exceeds the estimate. In order to have your goods released after an intrastate move, you will generally not have to pay more than the original estimate plus 25% in the case of hourly-rated moves, or plus 10% in the case of a weight-rated move. You will have 15 days after delivery to pay the balance on intrastate moves. For moves between two states that are billed by weight, the maximum payment due on moving day is 10% above the estimate and any balance must be deferred for 30 days after delivery (no such interstate rule applies for hourly-rated moves).

Read the bill of lading carefully. The bill of lading is a formal contract. Before you sign it, make sure you understand whether the cost of the move is based on the time it takes to do the job, the weight of your goods or whether it is fixed in advance in a written binding estimate. (Remember, you won’t know the exact cost of an hourly-rated or weight-based move until the shipment is delivered or weighted.) Never sign forms that have blank sections to be filled in later by the mover.

Make sure you understand the different levels of protection available for you belongings and the limitations on the mover’s liability. Before you sign the bill of lading, ask yourself whether you want basic, intermediate or maximum coverage for your goods. Expensive or valuable articles should be separately listed for their full value. (Remember, if you want the maximum protection, you must specify the dollar amount in the valuation section of the billing of lading.)

File all claims promptly and in writing with the mover. Keep a copy of your letters, payment records and contract documents in case you have a problem with your move.

If your claim is not resolved, file a complaint with the NYS Department of Transportation. You may also request arbitration through the mover’s dispute resolution program, or you may consult with a private attorney for other assistance.

To obtain more information on movers or if you have a problem with a mover, please contact: New York State Department of Transportation: 1-800-786-5368 or the Better Business Bureau: (212)533-6200 in the New York City area, or 1-800-828-5000 elsewhere in the state.