Moving day can be hectic for even the most experienced of movers. It is important to plan in advance as much as possible. It is necessary for everyone involved with the move to be able to contact you. People who should have your contact information (phone number, address) are: the moving company, your old neighbor, your new neighbor, the new tenants, and whoever is caring for your children or pets.
Preparing for a move is just as important as the actual moving day. When it comes time to pack, it is recommended that you make a master list of all of the items in the house. These items can be separated into three categories - move, trash, and donate - and dealt with before moving day. Walkways should be cleared of potted plants, floor mats, and rugs. If possible, remove any hanging items, such as wind chimes and curtains.
It is also efficient to have an "essentials box". This box should include a spare set of keys, wallets, medications, electronics, and any important documents. Also include extra clothes and toiletries. Each family member should have their own box. Keep certain items accessible, such as sheets, towels, toiletries, disposable tableware, and paper towels, to have for the first few days.
Any special items should be clearly marked. Fragile mirrors or pictures and any valuable items should be taken in a separate vehicle. The movers should be notified in advance of these special items so there is no confusion. Important documents should be kept separate and accessible. This includes medical records, school documents, paperwork for both the new and old space, and IDs.
If you are hiring movers to pack your things, be sure that you are present and available in case they have specific questions. Always confirm your contact information and new address with the movers upon arrival and before you leave. Also, leave your new phone number and address for the next tenants in case you leave something behind. If this is your first big move, ask friends or family members who have moved before for helps or any tricks they may have.
When the big day finally arrives, keeping calm and organized will be necessary. Make arrangements for children, pets, and house plants beforehand. Young children should be kept out of the way and under the supervision of a trusted adult to avoid accidents. It possible, leave them with a family member or friend who they know. If that is not possible, consider hiring a babysitter to keep the children entertained and out of the way of you and the movers. Pets can also be left with family and friends. They also have the option of staying in a kennel, although some veterinarians will care for your pet during the move. If you are travelling with your pet long distance, be sure to familiarize them with the crate they will be travelling in to keep them as comfortable as possible (see our Moving with Pets tip section).
Verify your new address and contact info with the movers, and be sure you have the keys to your new place. Charge your cell phone in advance, and be sure that the charger is accessible during the move. All family members should have their "essentials box", and be sure to have drinks and snacks for the day. Don't forget that while you're moving out, another family is moving in. Leave all of the keys to the house in a clear and safe space, including any garage door openers or mailbox keys. If you have time, consider leaving them a welcome note!
Professional movers are a great help to get all of your things out of the old house and into the new one. Make an inventory list with a description of all of the items, and include any special instructions. Both you and the movers should have a copy of this list. Clear and reserve a space in the driveway or on the street for the moving truck. Be aware the some moving companies charge extra fees to carry items from attics, lofts, or basements. If you need to drop items at a storage facility, most moving companies will help you there. However, this also comes with an extra fee.
During the move, have drinks and snacks available for the movers. Be available if the crew has any questions. Once you get to the house, quickly explain to the crew any special instructions and label all of the rooms. Use your inventory list to check off items as they are unloaded. Also, have cash on hand for a tip. It is common to tip the truck driver, who will distribute the money to the crew.