At Chicago Movers, our goal is to help you create the best relocation experience possible. One of the ways we do that is by providing information, such as these moving tips, that prepares you for the difficulties ahead. Most troubles that can happen during the big move will occur because something catches you off guard. If you take these moving tips to heart and have a solid plan in place, you can be sure that your move goes as smooth as possible.
Moving Tips – Driving
• Plan your route ahead of time, even if you’ll use a GPS system.
• Illinois does not permit moving trucks on some popular roads—Lake Shore Drive is a prime example.
• Note any toll roads along your chosen route, and have ample cash and change on hand.
Moving Tips – Financial
• Keep receipts from all moving-related expenses because much of this will be tax-deductible.
• Visit the IRS website for a comprehensive list of moving-related expenses that are deductible.
• Make all payments by credit or debit card whenever possible. In lieu of cash, use money orders and bank drafts.
• Set discontinuation dates in advance for services such as electricity, gas, landscaping, newspaper delivery, pool service, trash collection, water, and so forth.
Moving Tips – General
• Start this process ASAP! It’s better to over-plan then not to plan enough.
• Mail change of address cards to the following: credit card companies, insurance companies, mail order accounts, the post office, the social security office, and your friends and relatives.
• Create a survival kit—more on that in the survival kit moving tips section—and keep it accessible.
• Likewise, have snacks and drinks on hand in case you face unexpected delays.
• Take breaks! The stress of moving day can take a toll, so don’t forget to stop occasionally. Get some fresh air and walk around a little.
Moving Tips – Loading
• Have an inventory prepared prior to loading the truck, and use that list during the loading process in order to make sure that everything has made it onto the truck.
• If using professional movers, be “mover friendly.” In other words, be there to answer questions the entire time that they are loading the truck.
• Have an “essentials” box or two. This should include the important items not quite basic enough to make it into the survival kit. Load these last so that those are the first boxes unloaded.
• Complete a walkthrough of your home, and make sure you leave nothing behind. If using pros, the supervisor should be at your side during the walkthrough.
Moving Tips – Moving Companies
• Read your contract, and make sure that you understand ALL of it prior to signing it.
• Don’t allow movers to forgo inventory because they’re behind schedule.
• Make sure that the mover taking the inventory writes legibly.
• Ensure that all valuables are clearly noted.
Moving Tips – Parking
• In the Chicago metropolitan area, double park in order to unload.
• However, make sure you’ve left enough room for traffic to pass easily.
• Turn on hazard signals, and position any traffic cones or triangles that the rental company included with the truck.
Moving Tips – Research
• Visit the Chicago and Illinois websites ahead of time.
• Know the requirements for driver’s licenses and voter registration.
• Contact the Chicago Chamber of Commerce, and request a moving pack.
• Contact the Chicago Herald-Sun, and request a free newspaper. They mail free newspapers to prospective clients, and the paper can help give you a feel for your new home.
• Research the services that you will need as soon as you arrive: local schools, daycare centers, banks, utilities, groceries, vets, and dog parks.
Moving Tips – Survival Kit
• The most important aspects of your kit are a fully charged cell phone and emergency cash.
• Include a comprehensive first aid kit as well as over-the-counter pain relievers.
• You should refill prescriptions for family and pets and include that in the kit as well.
• Have a couple of gallons of water on hand. Even warm water is better than not having water, but you can keep it colder longer by freezing it.
• Pack a cooler with soft drinks, coffee, tea, sandwiches, and snacks. This isn’t just for the ride there. Cooking might not be an option that first day/night.
Moving Tips – Unloading
• Define a path into the residence and to each room/area, and keep it clear.
• There should be at least one OPEN area where nothing goes, even the boxes intended for that room. This spot will be your breathing space as you start the unpacking process.
• Using the labels that should be on the boxes, move the boxes directly from the truck into the appropriate rooms.
• Use your inventory to ensure that each box and major item has arrived safely.
• You’ll use the list again for a finer inventory later.
• Be there for the movers, and don’t be afraid to direct them.
Moving Tips – Weather
• Monitor the weather forecast beginning a week prior to the move.
• For those new to the area, Chicago is prone to extreme and sudden storms in summer and winter.
• Wait for all electronic devices to get to room temperature before plugging them in.