The next time you see an advertisement for a moving company, take a close look at the people making the move.
Are they smiling?
Chances are, they have big grins on their faces. They're having fun. Or so the moving companies and advertising agencies would have you believe. Even the You-Move-It companies try to associate happy people with moving.
The truth about moving lies somewhere in between fun-and-games and horror movies.
Perhaps the greatest piece of advice is to begin preparations early. This includes making arrangements with a moving company, reserving a truck if you're moving yourself and packing non-essential items.
If possible, arrange for the move at least two months in advance. June is the start of the moving season, so get your reservations in early.
If you're having a company move you, arrange for bids. Don't necessarily take the lowest. Check with your local Better Business Bureau or the local Interstate Commerce Commission office to determine if there are any complaints against the company.
If you're moving yourself, contact companies and get their prices and the size of trucks they expect to have available. Some local companies only accept cash, not a credit card and not a check. Be sure to ask how payment can be made.
Boxes are available from the moving company. Ask if they have used boxes. Often, they're just as good but a lot cheaper.
Aside from arranging for transportation and packing, there are a number of arrangements people often forget. Here are a few:
* If possible, collect your medical and dental records. If your doctor will only send them on to another physician and you haven't chosen one yet in your new locale, get your doctor's address so your new doctor can write for the records.
* Give notice to your utility companies at your present location and contact your new ones. If you don't know what company serves your new location, ask your present utility.
* If you have children, get copies of their school records.