Downsizing Homes? Here’s What to Ask Moving Companies

Whether you’re downsizing your home to accommodate an empty nest or you just want to live in a smaller, more functional space, it requires a plan and a little help. When you turn to moving companies for this help, and it’s important to ask the right questions in order to make the right choice for your downsizing needs.

1. Will you help me to store away clutter?

Being able to keep clutter at bay is an important part of downsizing, but sometimes you can’t do it right away. Even if you don’t think it will be an issue, it’s worth asking about as you interview movers – you may realize through the process that your furniture or other items don’t fit in your new space as well as you anticipated. Having a mover who is experienced with de-cluttering and can provide smart storage solutions will alleviate a lot of last minute stress. You also may want to check to verify if there are any restrictions to their services.

For instance, some movers may not be able to help you with packing or storing special items during your move, such as uniquely-shaped custom furniture or rare art paintings. So, it’s key to ask about this ahead of time. Also, some movers only provide basic insurance coverage that covers the value of the items they pack while others provide expanded coverage options that also includes theft and damage or higher valuation coverage. Consider what type of coverage you need, including the valuation of your possessions and your needs for theft and damage coverage.

2. Will I have time to organize and donate or sell items?

While you can create a plan to organize your items and sort out what you should keep and what you should donate on your own, the right moving company can make the process simpler for you.

Some professional movers have limited schedule availability for you, especially during peak season (May through September). Companies like Suddath, however, have a broader range of services and additional crew, which means they can offer a more flexible calendar to meet your schedule. If you think you’re going to need extra time as you go through the sorting, organizing and donating or selling process, you should ask about schedule flexibility up front.

If you need help through the sorting, organizing and donation process, there are services out there to help. This is an often overlooked service you may want to ask about if your move is coming up quickly, or you simply need an extra pair of hands helping you organize.

There are several organizations you can look to for professional assistance:

NAPO, National Association of Productivity and Organizing

NASMM, National Association of Specialty & Senior Move Managers

ASPO, American Society of Professional Organizers

If you’re located in Dallas, Suddath has a trusted partner, Sorted Out, who would be happy to assist.

Another tip on organization, make sure you don’t accidentally discard valuable items by setting them aside in one place, or making a detailed list as you’re preparing for your downsize project.

3. Do your moving quotes include measurements?

Knowing exactly what furniture will fit and which pieces won’t is key to decluttering before your big move, as well as being clear on your move budget.

Find a mover who will conduct a pre-move survey, where they visit your home to assess what your needs are by walking through every area. Often a moving survey is done in-person, but some moving companies have begun offering a video walkthrough for your convenience. If you do a virtual survey, your Suddath representative will help walk you through measuring each important item.

Make sure your mover is conducting some kind of a survey, so that you’re given a realistic assessment of what your costs will cover. Moreover, your mover can also help you with moving quotes for areas that are easy to miss, including measuring oversized furniture or accounting for items in your garage.

Final thoughts

The most important thing to remember if you’re downsizing your home and using the help of movers is: don’t hesitate to ask the important questions. When you ask the right questions, you’ll find the right moving company that will help streamline your moving process.

If you’re interested in learning more about the full suite of moving services Suddath® can provide to help as you downsize to a smaller home, visit our website for more information and to get a free quote on your move.