Home Moving Tips: Avoiding Mistakes
- Make your reservations for movers two to four weeks before your move day.
- Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box.
- Use wardrobe boxes to make closets easier to pack. Clothes in drawers can be placed in suitcases.
- Use only small boxes for books. They get very heavy, very fast.
- For large appliances be sure to check your owner’s manuals to see if there are special instructions for moving.
- Never use printed newsprint to wrap fine china.
- Always stack dishes upwards when packing.
- Pack important and sentimental documents separately to be easily accessible including: children’s health records, passports, family records, insurance information and photo albums.
- Remember: the heavier the item, the smaller the box.
- Don’t pack with food or supermarket boxes. You never know what little critter is hiding – or if the box will be strong enough to support your possessions.
- Don’t use used boxes. You don't know if the box will be strong enough to support your possessions.
- Always tape boxes. Don’t interlock the tops.
- Never use duct tape – use packing tape.
- Clearly label all boxes on top and side.
- Don’t try to get rid of your children’s favorite things before the move – even if it makes it easier. Kids sometimes have a hard time dealing with the change of the move itself.
- As you take apart furniture and other items make sure to tape all parts to the main base.
- Try to pack all electronic equipment, like stereos in their original boxes. Otherwise use bubble wrap when packing these items.
- Start packing items you will not need ahead of time.
- By law, a moving company can’t transport hazardous materials such as gasoline, bottled gases and other flammables, ammunition and explosives.
- Pack a box of essential items that you will need immediately after the move and make sure it’s the last thing added to the truck.
- Always pack and unpack breakables over a padded surface.
- Clean out closets, the attic, and the basement as soon as you decide it’s time to move.
- Two weeks before the move don’t forget to arrange to transfer school records.
- Make a “survival closet” of things for the last cleanup before you move out – broom, dust cloth, dust pan, mop.
- Remember to get snacks for move day.
- Schedule disconnect times for about a week before your move day -- you don’t want to have to pay for cable, phone and utilities when you aren’t even there!
- Cancel newspapers, cable, pest control, cleaning help, lawn services about a week before the move.
- Mail in your change of address forms about week before your move date.
- Clean your stove before you move out.
- The day before your move, defrost the fridge.
- Make sure to get enough cash to get you through move day.
- Take time to say goodbye to friends and neighbors before your busy move day.
- If you are depending on friends and family to help you move, have a back-up plan if they don’t show.
- Don’t use boxes without tops. No tops make it impossible to stack properly in the truck.
- Use custom-designed boxes when packing fine china and clothing.
- When interviewing moving companies make sure to ask:
- If they are insured and bonded and how they charge.
- If they charge extra for large items such as pianos and big screen TVs.
- What kind of training their movers and drivers go through before servicing customers.
- If there is a cancellation policy.
- If they will have a contact person on site or provide a contact number for the day of the move.
- If they move nights and weekends and if they charge for that service.
- What type of payment options they offer.
- What their customer referral rate is.
- If they use full-time employees or temps and day labor. (Be cautious of those who use temps and day labor because they may not have proper insurance.)
- If they offer free moving quotes.
- If they charge for travel time from their office to your location.
- If they have suggestions on how to make your move easier.
- If they offer packing and unpacking services.
- If your items will be insured during the move.
- If they have a minimum charge.
- If they charge by the piece or by the hour.