Even just a move across town can be stressful and overwhelming, even traumatic, and it only gets worse when you have to move a long distance. While moving to a new home can be exciting because it means starting a new chapter in your life, there’s not much most of us dread more than the actual moving event. Without proper planning and preparation, it can be an unmitigated (and expensive) disaster. But there are ways to make it much smoother and far less stressful. So let’s see how to make a long distance move to or from Chicago.
Plan Months Ahead
First, plan ahead – well ahead, even months – if you truly do want a smooth long distance move. You wouldn’t begin any other major life change without major planning, would you? It’s a good idea to begin contacting moving companies in your area at least three months before the moving date, especially during the summer when movers are extremely busy. Planning well ahead will ensure that everything has been taken care of, which will eliminate much of the stress.
A successful long distance move to or from Chicago will also require you to do some ruthless downsizing. Not only will it mean you have less stuff to pack and move, but it will also save you money. Most movers charge by weight for a long distance move, so the less you load weighs, the less it costs you. Get rid of any items you don’t need or use regularly, especially large items. And you can donate them to worthy charities to make the downsizing a little less painful.
Moving companies are definitely not all created equal. Some cost less but offer poor service. Others offer services you can choose from so that you pay only for what you need. And still, others offer great service at a great price with high-capacity vans. But you have to do your research in order to figure out which moving company is best for you.
Get In-Home Estimates
After you’ve found a handful of potential movers, your next step in preparing for a long distance move to or from Chicago is to get estimates. But you need to make sure you get in-home moving estimates. These are estimates in which a moving company employee comes to your home to conduct a visual survey and tally of all the items to be moved. This allows for a far more accurate estimate of the moving cost. It also gives you a chance to meet an employee and get a feel for the moving company, especially the kind of service they will provide. If the company refuses or hesitates to perform an in-home estimate, then you may want to reconsider.
Understand Your Rights
You should also know your rights with respect to a long distance move. Long distance moves are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which provides a booklet the lays out the moving company’s responsibilities and your rights. One of your most important considerations will be valuation. While movers are responsible for compensating you for damaged or lost items, the amount of compensation can vary. So you need to pay close attention to released valuation versus full valuation and which one the company provides.
Talk to Your Agent
Another thing you can do to help your long distance move to or from Chicago is to talk to your real estate agent. While your agent can’t recommend a mover, she does have knowledge in this area and can provide you some valuable tips. Our agents can provide this kind of assistance.