Asking for Trouble? Pain-Free Moving Strategies

In real estate, they say the three most important things to consider are location, location, location. What about when you move from one piece of real estate to another? Moving out of your home and into a new one can be traumatic, but, says Oleh Turczak, director of workplace management for IA, a New York-based interior design firm, whether it’s the first or the 40th time, the key to a relatively pain-free move is organization, organization, organization. "If you don’t do your own research up front and plan your own move, you’re asking for trouble," he says. "You have to put the project manager’s hat on."

Be a Detective

Everyone has heard a horror story or two about moves gone bad. Weeks before you schedule your move, you should start researching moving companies. In 1999, more than 500 official complaints were lodged with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) against moving companies, putting them at number nine on their list. Major complaints involved bait and switch situations, lost or damaged goods, tardy pick-ups and deliveries, even companies holding goods hostage, says Susan McMillan, director of information and investigations with the BBB of New York which serves the Manhattan, Mid-Hudson and Long Island regions.

One way to avoid unreliable movers is to ask friends or acquaintances about their experiences. Good word-of-mouth is a company’s best advertising. Or if you’re moving out of state for a company relocation, your human resources department might have a list of trustworthy movers.

The BBB also offers a relatively inexpensive research service, profiling numerous movers – keeping track of complaints and other information over a 36 month period. (For more information on how to get this information, please see related side bar.)

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