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Angie's List: Taking The Stress Out Of Moving

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- It does not matter if you are going across town or across the country, moving your home and family can be stressful.

There's a lot to consider when hiring a mover, and even more to think about if you do it yourself. So, Angie's List is taking the worry away, and keeping the focus on enjoying your new home.

"The first thing to do before any move is de-clutter. Get rid of anything you aren't absolutely sure you'll need. That will save you time and money once the moving actually begins," says Angie Hicks, of Angie's List.

If you decide to do it yourself, check your insurance to determine if additional coverage is needed to cover valuables that could get lost or broken. If you hire a professional, make sure you have an iron-clad agreement on the duties to be performed and what the final cost will be.

"Require an in-home estimate so the movers can actually see what they are going to be moving because, let's be honest, we all probably underestimate what's packed in our homes," said Hicks. "And then ask for a binding estimate if possible, that way you're not surprised in the end. And a flat rate estimate is a great way to go as well."

Insurance is also an important issue when you hire a pro. All companies will offer some coverage at no additional cost, but that may not be enough should something go wrong.

"All movers need to be insured, but that insurance is only at the rate of 60 cents per pound per item, so that is not going to get you very far," said Jason Sherman, a professional mover. "All companies have different policies. Our policy is that we will stand behind our work, and if something does happen, we will make sure it's fixed and repaired."

You'll also want to double-check on who specifically is transporting your stuff. It's not always the company you've hired.

"Be sure you know who's actually going to be doing the moving," says Hicks. "In some scenarios, you might be talking to a mover who then subcontracts it. You want to know who is actually going to be doing your moving."

You may also need to make special arrangements for certain items. Many companies won't take a lot of household chemicals or motorized yard equipment if you haven't completely drained the fuel and properly prepped it for travel.

Angie's List also recommends taking a thorough inventory of all items you're moving. Know the exact number of boxes that are being transported and take photos of as many items as you can.

If anything comes up missing, those photos will go a long way in getting you reimbursed by the movers.

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