Organizing your Move: A Responsibility Checklist

Organizing your Move: A Responsibility Checklist

Organizing your move is a mass of details to be organized into a smooth transition. No one needs to be reminded that moving can be stressful and that many things can go awry.

It can be helpful to know what to expect from your mover… and to know what is expected of you, the homeowner when organizing a move. The process is not one-sided; both the mover and the homeowner must be aware of their responsibilities and deadlines so that the move can be smooth and safe. 

Here is what you can expect from a professional and credentialed moving company. 

Getting Started on Organizing your Move

The movers will:

  • provide you with a copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities, a brochure published by the US Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • Make a home visit to complete a comprehensive survey to provide you with a written estimate. (During Covid-19, virtual in-home surveys are being conducted to keep mover and homeowners safe.)
  • Send homeowners a written estimate by email within 3 days.
  • Follow up with homeowners by phone to determine if there are questions.
  • Work with homeowner to establish a schedule for packing, if appropriate, and moving.
  • Submit a written contract if homeowner decides to proceed.
  • Explain any terminology unfamiliar to the homeowner, such as “long carry” charges
  • Explain the options for insurance: what is and what is not covered.

Packing for Moving Day

The movers will:

  • Explain that homeowners are charged for the labor to pack and/or unpack belongings, as well as for the containers and packing material.
  • Set a date for packing, usually one to two days prior to the moving date.
  • Take care to pack carefully using appropriate and special boxes and packing material.
  • Pack and label under the homeowner’s direction.
  • Provide you with a packing order and carton count.
  • If the homeowner is packing, the mover can provide a helpful packing guide.

 Liability for Loss/Damage During your Move

Moving companies are required to assume some basic liability by carrying legal liability valuation and insurance coverage. They also:

  • Provide motor vehicle coverage for bodily injury and property damage.
  • Carry insurance if household goods are damaged due to negligence.
  • Must disclose in writing, the limitation of liability for the value of goods at a rate of not less than 60 cents per pound, per article.
  • Explain options for additional insurance coverage. 

Moving Day

  • Crew meets at the mover’s location to pick up van, collect supplies, and get last minute instructions.
  • Arrive at homeowner’s residence at the time specified, given leeway for traffic and/or weather conditions.
  • Telephone or text homeowner to advise of any unforeseen delays.
  • Protect homeowner’s floors by using floor cloths.
  • Protect homeowner’s furniture with moving blankets.
  • Load van/truck using best practices for safety and efficiency.
  • Take appropriate short breaks, when needed, for hydration and lunch.
  • Sticker all items with dedicated contract number.
  • For interstate moves, inventory all items loaded onto truck and provide homeowner with a copy.
  • Always show courtesy and professional work habits.

That’s quite a list; however, there are some things that Homeowners should be aware fall under their responsibility and to-do list.

What Do you Need for Organizing Your Move?

  • Consider in advance of the Mover’s visit (virtual or in-person) of what items you plan to take to your new home. Are appliances staying or going? What about the piano?
  • Notify the mover if you change your mind and decide the dining room suite will be moved, as this will make a difference in your estimate. If you want to take your piano after all, the movers will need to plan for a special cart or straps to move it safely.
  • Provide mover with a clear and accurate address of your current residence and the location of your destination. Include information about heavy items, the number of floors in your current and new homes. Also advise if there are unusually narrow hallways, winding stairways, or long distances between the home and the van. 
  • Review your estimate and write down any questions you may have for the mover. When comparing estimates, be sure you are comparing “apples to apples.” Ask if you are unsure.
  • Schedule realistically. Especially if you are planning on packing everything yourself. Do not rush this part of the process.
  • Make decisions on what needs to be packed and how it is to be labeled before the packers arrive if the movers are packing for you. You are billed on labor time, so you want to have things organized ahead of time.
  • If there are any changes in schedule, packing, or what is to be moved, the homeowner is required to notify the mover ASAP so these changes can be accommodated.

Liability for Loss/Damage

  • The homeowner should understand the options for insurance coverage through the mover and through their homeowners’ insurance.
  • Ask questions. The homeowner’s antique rug will be valued at 60 cents per pound under the basic liability insurance plan, unless the homeowner it is insured separately.

Organizing your Move for the Big Day

  • Have all items that are to be packed, boxed and labeled, and ready to be loaded on the truck.
  • If you are moving during the winter, ensure that walkways and driveways are shoveled so that there is a clear path to the home and to the truck to be loaded.
  • Be available to direct movers and to answer any questions they may have.
  • Make arrangements for pets and young children with caretakers so they are kept safe during the loading.
  • Understand that the heat or inclement weather may slow the process or that the crew will need to take additional breaks to hydrate.

When movers and homeowners understand their respective responsibilities, they work in tandem with the result being a smooth and less-stressful experience for everyone.

If you have questions about a move you are planning, call the relocation experts at Ayer Moving and Storage at (800) 233-6683.

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