Packing and Moving Tips
As Soon as You Know Your Moving
- Purchase packing supplies, such as tape, boxes and wrapping papers or plastics. Buy stickers or red markers to flag fragile packages.
- Clean and organize all closets.
- Clean and de-clutter every room in the house, including the garage and basement.
- Pack unused items that you plan to keep. Label each box's contents and store the boxes in a safe but out of the way location where they won't interfere with showings.
Donate unneeded items to charity or have a garage sale to get rid of them.
As Soon as You Know a Moving Date
- If you're hiring movers, get price estimates and a list of services.
Place your order when you know you have a firm move date-give your cell phone number.
- If you're moving yourself, check moving truck prices and reserve a truck.
4-6 Weeks Before Moving
- Keep packing if you're doing the work yourself. If movers will pack you ask the moving company for advice on the best ways to prepare.
- Contact people who work for you on a regular basis, such as pool maintenance companies and gardeners, to cancel their services.
2 Weeks Before Moving
- Call utility companies and arrange for meter readings on moving day so that all services after that date are not your responsibility.
- Arrange to discontinue your telephone service on the moving day and start at new place.
- Give your cell phone number or another contact number to everyone associated with the move, just in case they need to reach you after the home phone has been disconnected.
- Arrange to disconnect your satellite or cable TV coverage and setup new service at new place.
- File a change of address notice at the post office, making it effective on your moving date or a few days before.
- Notify your creditors, magazine subscriptions, friends and family, doctors, dentists and others of your new address.
- Schedule a cancellation date or new address for newspaper deliveries.
- If you're moving out of the area, start picking out items for cleaning or repair. Return library books and rented DVDs and videos. Arrange to have your prescriptions transferred to a pharmacy near your new home.
- Start an essentials box or two--all the things you'll need immediately after you unload at your new location, such as toiletries, a broom, towels, sheets, blankets, a change of clothes and nightware.
- Find certificates verifying that your pets are up-to-date on required vaccinations. Gather other important documents and plan to carry them with you on the day of moving.
- Open a bank account at your new location, or, if you're staying in the area, order checks with your new address WAIT until your new name.
1 Week Before Moving
- Confirm moving and delivery dates with movers or check your truck reservation.
- Clean each room thoroughly as you finish packing. Don't forget major appliances. Wait to pack your vacuum and other tools necessary for last-minute cleaning on moving day.
- Call your insurance agent and change the address on renters policy.
On Moving Day
- Walk through every part of the house to find stray items, opening cabinet and closet doors.
- Arrange for pets to be in pet carrier so they won’t slip outside in the confusion, if that is a concern.
- Make sure you have keys to your new home.
- Supervise movers as they load, then again at delivery to make sure boxes and other items go to the right rooms at your new home.
- Watch for damaged items or damaged boxes. Note all damage on the mover's bill of lading and ask the supervising person to sign off on the notation.
- Unpack your essentials box--then try to relax for awhile before you start the big unpacking job.
- Set up and make the bed 1st
- Unpack and setup the kitchen second
If you've ever moved you know there's more to it than this! Transporting pets, plants and people in a comfortable way should top your list, and nearly everything you cancel at your old home must be started again at the new location.
Generic tips are a good guide, but start your own personalized list of moving musts on the day you decide to move.
- Don't reuse any boxes that have been used many times and are starting to wear. Keep in mind that that the box you pack
could easily end up on the bottom of a large stack.
- Pack all boxes TO capacity. Boxes that are underfilled are more likely to be crushed and boxes that are overfilled can
tear or fall apart.
- Boxes should weigh about 25-30 lbs each. It's important to be consistent here for the same of your friends
(if you're moving yourself) and the movers. When boxes weigh much more or less than people expect, accidents happen.
- Label all boxes as soon as you're done packing them (e.g. "Bathroom", "Bedroom", "Kitchen"). When labeling, draw an
arrow on the box to indicate which side is the top of the box and write the room label on multiple sides. This will save you
a ton of time unpacking (or trying to find that one item that you need) and will help ensure the safety of your property
while it's being shipped.
- Don't be afraid to start early! If you're moving in the summer, there's no reason that you can't pack your winter clothes
two months before your move date.
- Wrap all glassware, china, and breakables individually in towels or packing material. If you're trying to save
money, wrap each item in newspaper! Don't be tempsted to cram items together--they'll "clink" and break.
- Don't pack it if you don't need it! The cheapest way to pack and ship something is to NOT do it. If you don't need
something in a new location, sell it at a garage sale before you move. We see lots of people pack and ship items that they
later realize they don't need--what a waste!
- You can buy or rent garment boxes from a local temporary storage facility or truck rental moving company. These nifty
boxes are like portable closets--you can ship clothing on its hanger.
- NEVER pack explosives, combustibles (gasoline), food of any kind, liquids, or pets. These could cause damage and will
void your insurance.
- Get wine boxes from the stores, they have the individual dividers and you can use them to pack your glasses.
- Use space bags for pillows and blankets and off season clothes, they shrink down to practically nothing.
- Pack and put in the van in the order you want furniture to come out of the van. Have friends and movers assist you
in putting all large pieces and furniture in its place before they leave, use the bottom of the closet in the appropriate
room to put boxes in so the house will begin clean.
- Set up the kitchen first, this will save you money in the long run. Not having to order out!
- If you have a floor plan, draw how you want each room to be set up and put it on the door of that room, so you can be
free to do other things than direct traffic. Label bedroom furniture room 1, 2 and so on.