Reduce Moving Day Stress, Risks
By Phillip B. Burum
It is hovering above ninety degrees most days, my wife’s roses are in full bloom, and I see a moving truck in nearly every neighborhood I pass – it must be summer in Southern California.
I hope you have had a chance to enjoy a bit of summer sun. If you are one of the many in our region that plans to make a move before the kids head back to school, you may have missed a bit of that relaxation as you planned out your moving adventure. If you are a push-everything-to-the-last-minute type and haven’t spent anytime planning out your move, stop relaxing; you have work to do. Below are some simple steps you should take to make the effort a bit smoother and to provide you with piece of mind as you prepare for the move.
Step One: Take the time to go through everything in the home to determine how it might, or if it does, fit into your future. Most people would be surprised at the results of an inventory of their existing home. Afterall, no one wants to admit that they may be a pack rat. Considering that the average American moves every eight years, odds are you have eight years’ worth of accumulated possessions will have to be dealt with. The use of the phrase ‘dealt with’ was meant to imply that no one should assume that everything will be moved. Be prepared to make some hard decisions on what should move with you and what should benefit some lucky shopper at the local thrift store or your local charity of choice.
Step Two: Visit the website of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), at www.moving.org. You will find some additional helpful tips about your upcoming move as well as help in finding reputable moving companies. While searching for a mover, check with your local chamber of commerce, friends, family and business associates. If you will be using a commercial storage unit, consult with the managers of the storage facility. They deal with movers on a regular basis and can be a great resource for identifying which movers NOT to use.
When you settle on a few viable candidates, ask each for their business license number and their Household Goods Carrier Permit from the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Check with the CPUC to verify that a moving company is authorized to operate by calling 800-877-8867 or visit their website at www.cpuc.ca.gov on the web.
Once you have selected the moving company, before finalizing the contract, select several consecutive days during which your goods can be loaded and a second series of dates during which your goods can be delivered to your new home. A range of possible dates gives you and your mover the flexibility needed to keep your move on schedule.
On the day of the move, make sure to go over the delivery arrangements fully with your mover. Read the Bill of Lading before you sign it and if the move covers a distance, plan to keep in contact with the mover’s agent at your destination while in transit.
Once delivered, check your goods for damage. Do not sign the inventory until you have inspected your furniture and the exterior of all cartons. If you notice damage or if something is missing, report the facts promptly and in detail on the van driver’s original copy of the inventory sheet before you sign it.
After moving day, it is important to unpack everything reasonably quickly. You will have about 30 days to file a claim for damaged or missing goods after the move, so it is important to get everything out of boxes and inspected within that time. When making a claim or considering a settlement offer, keep in mind the amount of liability that you declared on your shipment.
There are few fun things about moving. The excitement is in the destination, not the journey. Regardless of how tedious this part of the process may be, like anything else worth doing, it is important to develop a plan and a budget and stick to the plan and the budget.
Now that you have your moved properly planned out, get your kids to the mall to finish their back to school shopping. Relaxing time is over, school starts for many next week.
For more information about the Building Industry Association or relaxing in the summer, visit www.biabuild.com on the web.