Make Moving Day the Best That It Can Be

Photo by  Erda Estremera  on  Unsplash


by Phillip B. Burum, Executive Vice President, Diversified Pacific,

President, Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter


Spring cleaning is a great way to declutter your home but, even the most disciplined of us accumulate more each year than we dispose of. The average American homeowner moves approximately once every eight years. Eight years of extra clutter is a lot to deal with at moving time. We all fall into one level or another of hoarder but, whatever level of hoarder you might be, when it comes time to move, tough decisions have to be made about which items to keep and which have to go.

     It’s approaching moving day so, after you have determined which items are keepers and which have just been taking up space, there are a few things you can do to make the process of moving less painful.

     Do not call your friends and offer to buy them pizza and beer. It will take longer and cost you more in the end than hiring a professional. Before you hire a professional, however, there are some steps you should take to ensure that you are hiring the right company.

     If you have been, or will be using a commercial storage unit, consult with the managers of your storage park. Because they deal with movers on a regular basis, they can often give you some valuable guidance in selecting the best moving companies – and which ones to avoid. When hiring a local business, you should always check with your local chamber of commerce, friends, family and business associates for recommendations.

     Before you settle on a final candidate, ask 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 and look under “transportation.” 

     As with selling your home, do not rely on verbal quotes or comments.  Request a quote in writing and make sure the scope of services, including any potential variables, is clear in the quote.

     Many professional movers offer packing services by trained packers using specially designed cartons and materials. If you do your own packing, remember that professional movers will not usually accept liability for damage to owner-packed items. If you choose professional packers, make sure you are present when your goods are packed.

     There are several options for insuring your goods because all household goods shipments move under limited liability. Don’t forget to ask if you can purchase additional liability coverage from your mover.


     On the day of the move, make sure to go over the delivery arrangements fully with your mover.  Read the Bill of Lading carefully before you sign it. Upon delivery, check your goods for damage. Do not sign the inventory until you have inspected your furniture and the exterior of the cartons. If any of your household goods are damaged or lost, report the facts in detail on the driver's original copy of the inventory sheet before you sign it. If you notice damage after unpacking, a claim must be filed promptly with the moving company. When making a claim or considering a settlement offer, keep in mind the amount of liability that you declared on your shipment.

     Moving day can be one of the most exciting or most dreaded days of the year. Preparing properly for the move can be the difference in how the day goes.

     For my younger friends, including those that tell me that we are only as old as we feel; one last tip: that piece of furniture is heavier than it looks. There is no reason to throw out your back trying to impress the professionals. They are there, quite literally, to do the heavy lifting. Be a good supervisor, pay attention to the details when packing and unpacking, and pay the bill. That is the extent of your role.  

     For more moving day tips and other general information regarding your move, consider visiting the website of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). 

     The Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter seeks to advance the opportunity to attain the American Dream of homeownership. For more information, visit on the web