Moving when you have pets

It is a curious fact that moving with pets is more difficult than moving with children, but it makes sense on closer examination. To a certain extent children can take care of themselves. Animals will usually be very confused, disoriented and afraid about the move. Here are a few tips the make the transition smoother for both of you:


  • Make sure your cat or dog is healthy. Take him to the vet before the move and tell the vet where you will be moving to (assuming it is far away). The vet will be able to inform you of pet health dangers in that region. Additionally, the vet can prescribe sedatives for when the animal is under particularly great amounts of stress.
  • Clear out a specific area of you vehicle that will serve as your animal’s “home” for the duration of the trip. It will not be anything like a real home of course, but it will allow you to introduce a space where at least some normalcy can be had. Get cages a large as possible for your pets and make sure they have someplace they can go into, like a box if space permits.
  • Always keep your animal on a leash when outside the car. This includes cats if you can get them to do it. Most people think their dogs will just come back when called, but being in a strange place makes dogs do strange things, and it is not uncommon for a dog to just take off and not come back. Cats will almost certainly run away if they are let outside without a leash.
  • Keep your pet with in eye view. If your pet can see you, it will make them feel more relaxed. Also, make sure that your animals are not baking under direct sun for long periods of time. Make sure that the widows are open or that the air conditioner is making its way back to their living space. Don’t assume, make sure!

One final thing, make sure you have a list of pet friendly hotels along the route to you new home. It will save you and your pet a lot of hassles.

How to be on the alert for bad moving companies

It’s not as if moving weren’t already stressful, but getting screwed by a moving company is the cherry on top of the sundae. Yet year after year complaints flood into government regulatory offices and review websites about how families’ belongings were damaged, or the mover held their stuff for hostage if they don’t pay a “surcharge,” you get the picture. Keep in mind that most movers are on the up and up, and if you have a legitimate problem, you will not generally have a problem. Still, you will be entrusting thousands of dollars of your belongings to someone who is essentially a stranger, so you should do at least a little investigating.

Here are a few things to look for when looking for a mover:

  • If you are moving out of state, your candidate moving company must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They have a pretty cool search feature that will give you the scoop on who’s gotten a lot of complaints and other relevant information
  • Beware interstate movers who give estimates without seeing the project first. There is not way a mover can know how much to charge a client until he sees how much work his crew will have to put into it (how many big items are there? Are there stairs? How much stuff has been packed, etc) This is not as much of an issue with local movers. For example, since the distance is not so far, you or the local mover will not incur and significant costs penalties for a job that takes a little longer. Nevertheless, if there is any doubt in your mind, any reputable mover will come out to have a look.
  • Make sure that your mover has the proper insurance for moving. All movers are required to have insurance, but don’t expect a 100% replacement cost. If full replacement is a necessity, you may purchase supplementary insurance through the mover to cover the difference. You may also purchase your own insurance if you feel the need.
  • Be alert to movers who demand full price up front. No reputable mover should demand the entire amount.
  • Inquire as to whether the mover hires temporary of permanent employees. This should not necessarily be a deal breaker, but generally it is better that a moving company employ a force, as opposed to contract workers. However, there are a significant number of moving companies that hire contract or temporary laborers, but the hire the same ones all the time, which is the next best thing to having a regular salaried workforce.

Remember, for interstate movers you are allowed to view a cope of

Hire a professional moving company or do-it-yourself

It’s  a tough decision to make when you’re moving: should I hire a moving company or do it myself? Well it depends. If you are really on a budget, you probably won’t be able to spare the money for a professional mover. But for the rest you really need to decide how much effort you personally want to put into it. If you are pressed for time, it might make sense to allow the mover to do the entire job. On the other hand, if you are a diligent person, you will be starting early packing. Some early packers start a couple of months before the move. But most people are not that diligent.

Fortunately there are options. The thing about using a moving company is that it’s not an all or nothing proposition. The reality is that you can  choose how much or how little you want to pack, and let the movers do the rest. As a rule you should probably pack the most important stuff and the stuff with the most sentimental feeling yourself. It’s not so much because your mover will break or lose it, but it simply brings more peace of mind when you do that aspect of the move yourself.