- Keep boxes to 50 lbs or less with heavy items in small boxes and light items in big boxes. Pack non-breakables tightly in smaller boxes so they're not too heavy. Buy clean newsprint to wrap items and bubble wrap for padding. Pack breakables loosely in plastic storage bins with lots of bubble wrap.
- Arrange a parent-teacher conference before you move so you can discuss your child's strengths and weaknesses with the new teacher. Make sure you notify school officials about your move.
- Pack all items you will not need during the month prior to your move. This includes winter/summer clothing, sports equipment, books and linens.
- If you're driving a long distance to a new home, don't forget to give your car a tune-up before the trip. Make sure you arrive well before your movers do.
- Did you know that moving expenses are often tax deductible? You may be eligible to deduct transportation, travel and lodging expenses for job-related moves.
- If you are moving out-of-state, contact your current Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and request license and title registration information for your new state.
- Use common sense when loading your truck by keeping in mind the size, sturdiness, and weight of your boxes.
- Make sure your new home is pest-free before you move in! Ask the current residents and neighbors if they've experienced pest problems.
- Did you find any library books or borrowed tools while you were packing? Time to come clean with the local library and your neighbors.
- Begin packing a few weeks prior to your move. Pack on a room-by-room basis and label each box accordingly on top and side (e.g. kitchen-plates). Also label boxes containing breakable or sentimental items with "Fragile." Keep a detailed list of what items are packed in each box to make unpacking easier.
- Call your local/state government to clear up any unpaid taxes or parking tickets. Unpaid fees will find their way to you (and may even delay license renewal).
- Remember to allow for extra braking room when driving a moving van. Anticipate stops and allow a 3-second gap between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- Before the van foreman leaves for your destination residence, give him a phone number where you can be reached. It is also a good idea to provide him with an alternate contact in case you can't be reached.
- If moving locally, you may want to leave your pets with a friend during moving day. Animals can become confused and frightened during a move. Keep your pet calm and away from all the activity on moving day. Arrange for a friend to watch your pet at their house.
- Ask friends and family for moving help well in advance. As move day approaches send them friendly reminders.
- Register children in their new schools. Get to know your school community. Arrange a meeting with the new principal and your child's new teacher.
- Load your area rugs last so they can hit the floors before your furniture does at your new home.
- Remove bulbs before packing your lamps.
- Mark each box with its contents and destination room. That way, you and your helpers will know where each box belongs in your new home.
- Order preprinted address labels with your new address as soon as you know it. It makes the change-of-address process much easier. Also order new bank checks for your new home.
- Be sure that you have heat, hot water and lights when you get to your new home. Have your utilities turned on the day before you move in.
- When packing small items, wrap them in bright colored tissue paper so they are not mistakenly thrown out.
- Toilet paper, telephone, toiletries, snacks, coffee (and pot), soap, flashlight, screwdriver, pliers, can opener, paper plates, cups, utensils, a couple of pans, and paper towels are some of the essentials you may need upon arrival at your new home. Pack a box with these types of items and ask your van foreman to load it last so that it will be unloaded first.
- Designate one drawer of a dresser for sheets and towels so you won't have to rummage through boxes for essential items the first night in your new place.
- Contact your doctor and dentist to inform them of your move. If you haven't selected a new doctor in your new town, get referrals and your medical records from your current doctors.
- To save time, rent a carpet shampooer at the same time you rent your truck.
- Choose a "packing room" ahead of time and box up a few things each day.
- Get some of the risk and worry out of your life. Whether you're renting or buying a home, insure your new residence.
- Make sure your movers know where they are going. Prepare written directions and a highlighted map. Exchange cell phone numbers so you can stay in touch.
- If it's irreplaceable, take it with you in the car (you don't want regrets later). But if you do decide to pack framed photos or art, place sheets or blankets between them for added protection.
- Keep a utility log to check service-transfer dates. If you're moving locally, leave the power and water on at your old address a few extra days so you can go back and clean up after your move.
- Pay close attention to your pet's behavior during the weeks before and after your move. You'll want to surround your pet with familiar objects to help ease the stress of settling into new surroundings.
- If you are moving plants to your new residence in your own car, try not to let the foliage rest against the windows (to avoid scorching).
- Plates and record albums should be packed on-end vertically, rather than placed flat and stacked.
- Moving companies typically won't move propane tanks, gasoline, paint, thinners, aerosol cans and the like. So make arrangements to transport it yourself or dispose of it properly.
- Have children write their name and new address on the cartons for their rooms so they can become familiar with their new street and town.
- Move on a weekday if you can, when banks, utilities and government offices are open.
- Prepare any mowers, snow blowers, boats, and snowmobiles for the move by draining gasoline and oil.
- Don't forget your old phone book. You may need to make calls to residents or businesses back in your former hometown.
- After you've thoroughly cleaned and dried the inside of your refrigerator, put a handful of fresh coffee, baking soda or charcoal in a sock or nylon stocking and place it inside to keep the interior smelling fresh.
- If you are changing banks, open a bank account in your new community. Do not close your existing bank account until all outstanding checks have cleared.
- When unpacking, start with the easy stuff first. Put the toilet paper in the bathroom and hang the shower curtain. Put the light bulbs in the light fixtures and a garbage can in the kitchen.
- Upon arrival at your new home, let your computer "acclimate" itself to room temperature before plugging it in.
- Plan ahead for what you'll need the first day after your move. Packing a separate bag with your toiletries, a change of clothes, etc. will prevent unnecessary scrambling or a run to the local store.
- Have plenty of snacks and refreshments available for your family, friends and the professionals that are involved in your move.
- Make a note of your shipment registration number and keep it with you in case you need to call your mover with questions about your shipment.
- Donate or sell any clothing you have decided not to move with you. Sort through books and donate them to your local library or school.
- For your garage sale, tag all items and be prepared to wheel and deal. Garage sale gurus love to haggle.
- Mark off a parking area for the moving truck with cones or chairs to reserve the space. If you live in a metropolitan area, consider obtaining a city-parking permit to make sure the space remains available for the movers.
- If your pet's annual exam is less than two months away, visit the vet for one last exam. Get referrals to vets in your new town. Don't forget your pet's medical records.
- Empty all drawers of breakable or spillable items. To safeguard against unnecessary damage, it's a good idea to put all furniture knobs, feet, screws, etc. in one container that you can keep with you so the parts won't get lost.
- Do not pack flammable goods or heat-sensitive items like candles, records, audio and video tapes, computer disks, propane tanks, aerosol cans, oil-based paints, and certain cleaning fluids.
- Wrap items individually and always place a layer of crushed paper in the bottom of the carton for cushioning. Fill empty spaces with additional crushed paper.
- Make sure cartons are firmly packed, with heavier items on bottom and lighter ones on top.
- Pack according to the season if you'll be putting some boxes in storage. Mark the boxes accordingly.
- Make sure the items you'll need first are loaded in last when packing the truck. You'll make access easier for the things you need (ie. kids toys, kitchen items, telephone and radio).