Read up for National Moving Month.


By Jason Carpenter

More than 40 million Americans move every year, with businesses spending $25 billion a year on relocation.

As a fourth generation moving truck driver, very little is surprising to me. From businesses who haven't packed a single item when the elevator opens to firms who spend months planning-every move is different. Your move is the most important.

May is National Moving Month. So what should a business owner know when planning a move? Here are five things to remember.

A successful move starts before you pack a single item.

Many families de-clutter before putting a house on the market because it helps sell the home more quickly. This rarely happens in corporate relocations, and it's a mistake. When businesses make a list of things they cannot live without, it helps identify things to leave behind or sell.

Everyone should follow the OHIO rule: Only Handle It Once. Find an item. Keep it. Toss it. No in between. That might seem stressful, and it can be if it's done over a day. Businesses that can do this over a week or a month are in much better shape.

Getting rid of stuff saves time and money. Every business should consider a cleanse before buying a single box.

Identify what you must have to run your business.

Every business should identify core items that keep them running and ensure their mover has those items designated as last on, first off.

There are several other ways to organize the rest of your stuff. Dividing by section or room helps movers unload more quickly. See-through storage bins help businesses unpack more quickly. Writing on the boxes what stuff is and where stuff goes also helps. Color-coding can work magic.

The businesses that spend a few hours working through these steps with their mover have a much better experience.

Remember what we aren't allowed to put on a truck.

Flammables such as fireworks, cleaning fluids, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, ammunition, etc. aren't allowed on most commercial moving vehicles. It's not safe for anyone. If a mover finds out an item like this was packed, he or she has to take it off the truck. That slows everyone down and increases stress levels.

Businesses should not wax or oil wooden antiques and fine wood furniture prior to moving. Some products may soften the wood, making it easier for furniture pads to make a mark.

Most companies are able to work with businesses on specific moving needs. Don't be afraid to ask questions. It's much easier to deal with a situation prior to a move than when an entire team shows up at the door.

Don't skimp on insurance.

Accident and disasters happen. It's not worth risking your business to save a small percentage of your yearly revenue. Most moving companies have a variety of policies; your insurance carrier should as well.

Do think about the calendar.

May is National Moving Month, but moves can occur 12 months out of the year. During the summer, some companies are at 100 percent capacity, and you may have limited dates to make a move. Moving in the fall, winter or spring may offer you more options and even better pricing. Snow isn't a deal breaker.

Moving is hard work. So is running a business. Companies that apply their planning skills when making a commercial move get acclimated to their new home much more quickly than those who don't. So put the box down, grab your laptop and develop a plan that's best for you, your sanity and your business.

Jason Carpenter works with E.E. Ward Moving & Storage and was recently named northAmerican® Van Lines 2015 Driver of the Year. Established in 1881, E.E. Ward Moving & Storage Co. is a nationally recognized leader in the relocation and transportation industry providing a range of relocation and logistics solutions for corporations, governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals.