To Lift Or Not To Lift

Mar 18, 2011

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

The time is here: You’re moving. You’ve picked a new home. Maybe it’s across town, across the state, or across the world. The challenge now is to get your possessions there. No problem, right? You don’t have that much stuff.

You start sorting through your things. Hmm… There’s that extra set of dishware you forgot about, of course, and the five-foot stack of magazines you just had to keep… There’s also that drawer full of your 2-year-old’s drawings you can’t bring yourself to throw out. There’s the living room TV. The beanbag chair. The crib.

Time to rethink your moving strategy? Maybe. But who can help?

The Benefits Of Professional Movers

There are obvious reasons for hiring a team of professionals: The physical effort you put into the move can go from “lots” to “none” with the swipe of a credit card. You also don’t have to freak out about driving a 30-foot truck through unfamiliar streets, plus you will get an expert to help you with all the small dilemmas that inevitably come on moving day.

But you need to do some research. Get an in-home estimate from your chosen moving company before your actual moving date. Don’t bother negotiating with a company that refuses to do an in-home estimate. (This is one of the Department of Transportation’s “red flags” regarding unscrupulous moving companies to avoid.)

Make sure your possessions are insured. Your homeowner’s policy might cover this, and the moving company will offer coverage.

Think you can’t afford professionals? Look into some common sources of funding. If you’re relocating for a job, your current or new employer may pick up all or part of the tab. And some moving expenses are tax deductible.

That’s What Friends Are For?

We’ve all gotten the call, the text, or the email. Five innocent, terror-inducing words: “Can you help me move?”

If you can’t afford to hire professionals, asking your family or friends to help is the next best bet. You might feel guilty asking, but bringing in a few friends or family members will speed up the work and distribute the physical burden. You’ll have to take care of the packing, you’ll have to rent the truck or portable storage container, and you’ll have to plot the route and get your items where they need to go – but you won’t have to carry the sofa bed by yourself.

If you do ask friends for help, remember that their time is valuable, too, and that the work is difficult. Think gifts. Think food.

Other Labor Forces

If you’re reluctant to spend money on seasoned professionals or eat up goodwill amongst friends, you could pay one or two people you trust to help.

But keep in mind that if you’re working with hired laborers who aren’t trained or certified as movers, simple verbal agreements could potentially expose you to liability risks. If you hire a high-school linebacker to help and he slips a disc and jeopardizes his NFL career, there’s no agreement in place that protects you from litigation.

Also, make sure your property is covered. If you don’t hire a moving company, your property won’t be covered, unless your homeowner’s policy covers it. So double-check.

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