Whether you’re doing the move alone or with the help of third-party movers, make it less stressful and the workflow smoother with these practical dos and don’ts.
Before the Move
Hold a garage sale before the big move. This will help you get rid of stuff and raise funds since you’ll be shelling out money for the move. The unsold items can be donated to your local church and charities, and surplus shops.
Properly label your items using colored pens or a numbered system. It’s also better to pack the items according to the room or area — say, one box for the kitchen, another for your bedroom, and so on.
Create a checklist. The checklist should cover not just the inventory and things that need to be packed, but also must-dos, such as:
Change of address notification
Transfer of records
Discontinuation of services/utilities notification
Collect boxes from supermarkets, shops, and even your neighbors in case the supplied boxes from your movers aren’t enough. It pays to have back-up boxes!
Mix fragile items and heavy, bulky stuff together. They should be stored in separate boxes.
Overfill boxes as they might unknowingly damage your things. Don’t under fill, either — each available inch of space is important.
Forget to label boxes with fragile items. Place a huge “FRAGILE” tag that can be easily seen.
During the Move
Be thorough with checking your inventory on moving day. It doesn’t hurt to double- and triple-check your list to make sure that everything is in their right place.
Park the truck near the widest doorway of your house for easy loading and transporting of items. The space may also be enough to construct a temporary ramp, which you can use to wheel big, bulky, and/or heavy equipment and furniture.
Be meticulous when loading items. Load one section of the vehicle/van/truck at a time.
Try to distribute the weight evenly when loading items into the moving van/truck/vehicle. Moving experts recommend putting the heaviest items at the front. For best results, however, make sure that the weight is evenly distributed from front to back, and left to right (or vice versa) to prevent shifting while in motion — the risk of items bumping into each and causing unnecessary damage is lessened this way.
Have a final inspection of the house before finally leaving. Check that each room doesn’t contain any “leftover” items.
Load odd-shaped items last. These can go at the roof of the car, or at the top of the stacked boxes.
Bring a first-aid kit with you. You never know if an emergency will arise.
Bring along medicine, food, and toys if you are traveling or moving with kids in tow. These will help lessen their boredom and crankiness.
Neglect empty spaces in the moving vehicle! When you’re packing things into the car/van/truck, utilize all available spaces — meaning, from the floor of the car until the ceiling.
Place fragile items at the bottom. These should go at the top of heavy, bulky equipment. For added security, use heavy-duty packing tape or a rope to keep them from moving about while you’re on the road.
Forget to turn off the lights and that all gas and electronic appliances are disconnected before leaving.
After the Move
Check in at a nearby hotel or motel if you arrive at your new place late at night. You will be in no shape to unpack and put your furniture — especially your bed — in order. Save that task for the next day.
Familiarize yourself with your new neighborhood. Take the kids along and take note of the locations and ways to the school, nearest supermarket, doctor’s and dentist offices, nearest bank, nearest department store/mall, nearest drugstore/pharmacy, and the like.
Fail to bring a “survival package” of sorts to help you settle into your new house. This should include a first-aid kit, paper towels and clean rags, instant coffee or tea, disposable cups and utensils, soap, towels, blankets, pillows, flashlights with fresh batteries, toilet paper, all-purpose cleaner, and the like. This will come in handy, especially if not all utilities are up and working and the moving van hasn’t arrived yet.
Forget to thank your movers and give them a nice tip, especially if they went above and beyond their duties stipulated in the contract!