Moving box

Moving is one of the most stressful experiences you can go through, whether you’re packing up your house or your office. Not only do you have to get everything into boxes, you have to organize the unpacking when you get to your final destination. There’s a saying that three moves are as a good as a fire: things get misplaced or broken, you get stressed out and eventually, you may even wish that some of the items you are moving would catch fire.

  1. Finding movers: It’s important to work with reputable movers who will handle your property with car. Rather than calling around and trying to get estimates, there are a variety of review services online that can help you find a mover quickly, such as Yelp.
  2. Estimates: Planning your move requires some numbers. You can get an estimate through online calculators. When you actually select a mover, most will want to do a walk-through and provide a more specific estimate.
  3. Packing: One of the most time-consuming part of moving is packing — and you have to actually be good at it if you want fragile items to survive the move. Most moving companies will provide someone who will come in and pack your property before the move.
  4. Floor plans: To speed up your move, you should have an idea of where everything goes before hand. Software like Floorplanner can help you build a house plan quickly.
  5. Minimize office downtime: Moving offices can be particularly difficult, because you may have many employees — each with their own desk, files and personal items to move. Many commercial movers will work with you to create a schedule where a move is completed overnight or over a weekend to minimize the time your office is out of commission.
  6. Household inventory: In order to make sure that you have the same stuff you started with when you get to your new location, it’s important to create a household inventory. Rather than trying to write down every serial number and keep track of the information, software like Know Your Stuff makes the process simple.
  7. Remodel moves: In order to paint, remodel or otherwise work on a space, you typically have to get all the furniture and other items out of the house or office. That means not only finding a mover, but a place to store your property and then get it back into the building just the way it was before. While not all moving companies will handle such projects, many will. Especially with commercial movers, it can be possible to have them map your office and return furniture to exactly where it came from.
  8. Moving supplies: In college, picking up boxes from behind the local grocery store may have been the cheapest option, but a much faster method is to call your mover and ask them to order supplies for you. They can typically estimate the supplies you’ll need, based on your property, and new boxes are guaranteed not to contain anything left over from yesterday’s produce.
  9. Storage: There are a variety of storage options beyond hunting down a unit where you can move all of your own stuff in and out. Many moving companies now offer to take care of the problem for you, with pods and trailers. They simply move all of your stuff into a portable storage unit and follow your directions as to how to handle it.
  10. Systems furniture: Your office may have cubicles or other specialized furniture that requires a pro to take it apart and reassemble it. Contacting the maker can be the easiest way to find someone to handle your systems furniture for you.
  11. Piano moving: Pianos are particularly awkward to move and, considering the price tag on most musical instruments, you don’t want to mess with moving them. However, there are many moving companies who do nothing but move pianos and other odd, heavy objects. Fisher Piano Movers, for instance, will move gun safes and similar items, using specialized equipment for delicate moves.
  12. Ordering a truck: If you’re interested in handling the move yourself, it’s still useful to make the process simple. Most companies allow you to request trucks and moving supplies online and it’s set up in such a way for companies like U-Haul that a virtual assistant could easily complete the task.
  13. Car shipping: Moving across country? If you’ve already got all of your stuff packed into a truck, why waste time driving your car all that way? Sites like ShipMyVehicle can take care of your car without requiring you to spend hours on the road.
  14. Junk removal: After you’re done packing, you’ll likely have some junk not worth moving to the new place. Rather than hauling it to the dump yourself when you’ve already got plenty of moving to do, calling a junk removal service can make the day a lot easier.
  15. Donation pickup: If those items that you don’t want to move are still in usable condition, many charitable organizations will make arrangements to pick up donations.
  16. Utilities: Turning on and off utilities can be a difficult process. Having someone, like a virtual assistant, who can afford to spend the time on hold to get all the details taken care of can be invaluable. The help is even more useful if you’re on the ground, trying to organize the move and something goes wrong.
  17. Change of address: When you move, you need to change your address with anyone who sends you mail. That means filing out paperwork with every company you have an account with, as well as sending out notices, either to friends and family or your own clients and customers. A virtual assistant can handle most of these tasks, leaving you with only those that require your personal approval (like changing the address for your bank accounts).
  18. Transfer records: School, medical, legal and even veterinarian records should be transferred if you’re moving to a new city. A virtual assistant can handle contacting each office and making sure records wind up where they need to go.
  19. Memberships and subscriptions: Newspaper subscriptions, health club memberships and other contracts need to be transferred or ended. Unfortunately, there isn’t a tool that can handle all your subscriptions and memberships in one go, but a virtual assistant can handle such a task.
  20. Cleaning: Especially if you’re moving out of a rental, cleaning out the place your vacating is a necessary task. Many cleaning services offer a deep cleaning option that will make sure your last apartment or office passes inspection when you turn the keys over. It can also make sense to bring in a cleaning service for the new location.
  21. Learning a new area: If you’re moving to an entirely new city, learning about it can be a long process. However, most local chambers of commerce offer new resident packets that can help you get acquainted with the area.
  22. Finding a rental: Whether you need a new location entirely or you just need a place until your new location is available, there are rental services for both apartments and houses and for offices. They take your needs into consideration and narrow down the field to just a few options.
  23. Complaints: If anything goes wrong with your move, getting the moving company you used to resolve the situation can be difficult. One of the easiest options is to take the problem to the local Better Business Bureau and ask them to handle it.
  24. Tax deductions: Depending on why you’re moving, you may be able to deduct your expenses on your taxes. Hand your receipts for the move over to your tax preparer, explain the situation and see if you qualify.
  25. Insurance: While many insurance companies make moving insurance from one property to another relatively easy, the change in rates makes it a good idea to gather new estimate from a variety of insurance companies. There are a few websites that will compare rates from multiple companies or you can ask a virtual assistant to research your options.

Image credit: spxChrome / iStockphoto

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