Moving Tips

Moving Tip 1:
Make a List. Do yourself a favor -- write it down! Before you pack even one box, plan a simple record keeping system. Number each box, and make a list of the box contents in a notebook, or on a computer printed a list of consecutive box numbers. Keep the list in one central location with all of your labels, marking pens, box tape, and other supplies. Be specific in your descriptions -- "A-D files" is better than "files", and "Tulip dishes" not just "misc. kitchen".

Moving Tip 2:
Have enough supplies. Let's be clear about it -- having enough boxes will make your life easier. Get many more than you think you'll need. (If purchased, you can always take them back for a refund if unused, and if you got them free, just toss any leftovers.) Set aside about 10 to use on moving day for bedding, clothing, cleaning supplies, and other last minute items. Buy several rolls of strong plastic packing tape, and use unprinted paper or bubble wrap (not newspaper) to wrap household goods. Whatever you use, have enough so packing can proceed smoothly.

Moving Tip 3:
Utilize wardrobe boxes. Call your mover to get the width of the wardrobe boxes they'll be bringing. Then measure the clothes in your closets (including coat closets) to see how many wardrobes you'll need. Order that number, plus a few more to use for comforters, pillows, blankets, closet storage boxes, shoe boxes, and other bulky items such as fabric bolts, large baskets, or gift wrap tubes. Don't make the boxes too heavy to lift, however. Our mover told the story of someone who put a bowling ball in a wardrobe box. When the box was lifted off the truck the bottom gave way, sending the bowling ball on a wild ride down the ramp, across the street to the gutter, then down a hill where it finally came to rest in a roadside ditch.

Moving Tip 4:
Color coordinate. Designate a color for each room of the house (yellow=kitchen, orange=dining room, etc.) Add colored stickers next to the box number on the box and the movers will know where to put everything. In your new home put a matching sticker on the door to each room. I also put a notice on the wall where I wanted boxes stacked ("Boxes here please"), to keep them out of furniture and traffic areas.

Moving Tip 5:
Keep things together. Insist on keeping things together when you are packing boxes. Keep bookends with books, light bulbs with lamps, extension cords with appliances. Attach small parts to the item using tape or small envelopes -- to keep picture hooks with pictures, shelf brackets with a bookcase, a special wrench and bolts with the wall unit. Keep larger items (such as a cable TV cord) in Ziplock bags, and tape these to the underside or back of the item. As a backup, have a "Parts Box" open on the kitchen counter and fill it with cables, cords, parts, pieces, brackets, or nails that are removed from any items of furniture. Keep this box with you, or mark it well with a rainbow of colored stickers so it can be easily located on move-in day.

Moving Tip 6:
Pack ahead. Anything you can pack ahead will save you time on moving day. Box up your shampoo and extra toothpaste and live out of a travel cosmetic case for the last week or two. Pare down cooking utensils and food supplies to bare essentials. Wastebaskets can also be packed while you switch to using plastic grocery bags (hang them on a cabinet door or door handle to collect trash.) .

Moving Tip 7:
Consolidate cleaning supplies. If you must clean your old place after moving out, put together a kit of basic cleaning supplies and rags. We stored this in a kitchen wastebasket, so we could easily move it down to the car when we were finished. Clean anything possible ahead of time (the inside of kitchen cupboards, the oven, windows, etc.), and if possible, vacuum each room as movers empty it.

Moving Tip 8:
Use your luggage. Fill luggage and duffle bags with clothing, sheets, towels, and paper goods. Even for local moves you'll be able to quickly spot your navy suitcase holding your favorite sweaters, whereas "Box #189" might remain elusive for days.

Moving Tip 9:
Strategize wardrobe box use. A few days before your move, fill some sturdy handled shopping bags with bulky closet items such as shoes, sweaters, belts, and jeans. On moving day, fill the bottom of the wardrobe boxes with some of the shopping bags, then add your hanging clothing. Pack hanging items in tightly so things won't move around and fall off of hangers. Finally, cover the shoulders of your clothes (a dry cleaning bag works well), then add a few purses or sweather on top. You'll have fewer boxes, and closet items remain together. Also, the shopping bags will make it easier to retrieve your belongings from the bottoms of a tall wardrobe box.

Moving Tip 10:
Safeguard valued items. Silverware, collections, antiques -- take smaller items with you if you can, or bury them in a box titled "Misc. from kitchen pantry". Either way, check your homeowner's insurance to see how you are covered during the move, and if you need additional insurance from the mover. Also, what paperwork (receipts, appraisals, and photos) might be needed in case of loss.

Moving Tip 11:
Keep important papers with you. Picture this: The truck left a few hours ago. It's now 2am, there's water all over your new kitchen floor, and you need your homeowner warranty policy number to call for help. Do you want to paw through 15 "office" boxes -- or just reach into your briefcase to find what you need? Your list of "important" papers might include: birth certificates, school records, mover estimates, new job contacts, utility company numbers, recent bank records, current bills, phone lists, closing papers, realtor info, maps, and more.

Moving Tip 12:
Personal boxes. Use brightly colored storage tote boxes, one for each person. Let each family member fill theirs with items they'll want 'right away' in the new home. I filled mine with a set of sheets, a towel, a couple of extension cords, a phone, nightlights, address book, pens and paper, keys, kleenex, and travel cosmetic case, and took this in the car to our new home.your lamps.

Moving Tip 13:
Speaking of time, it is important to note it takes time to do a move. Most interstate moves are done on large tractor trailers that typically hold 5 or 6 or more different household goods shipments. Movers rates are based on moving fully loaded trailers to and from origin to destination. That is why they need flexibility on the dates often for both loading and delivery. If you have a small shipment, but have specific date requirements for pickup and/or delivery, be prepared to pay a premium price for this service.

Moving Tip 14:
Personal Computers - CRT's - Keyboards - Disc Drives - Printers - Fax Machines - Typewriters, Etc.Unplug all equipment from the power source and from other peripheral equipment. Place all cables, cords, covers, etc. in a moving carton with your other desk contents, etc. Make sure each piece of equipment has been properly serviced for moving, if any servicing is required.

Moving Tip 15:
At destination, you might want to consider having the TV and VCR hooked up first to occupy the kids while the rest of the van is being unloaded.

Moving Tip 16:
Keep your pet calm and away from all the activity on moving day by arranging for a friend to watch your pet at their house.

Moving Tip 17:
When moving plants to your new residence via your car, try not to let foliage rest against the windows, as the leaves will scorch.

Moving Tip 18:
Upon arrival at your new home, let your PC "acclimate" itself to room temperature before plugging it in.

Moving Tip 19:
Leave the rest to the professionals, sit back and relax, and look forward to the new opportunities, new friends, new experiences, etc., that are part of any move.