The key to a trouble-free move is preparation:
Make a list of items you want packed by your mover. Collect estimates. Check details on cost, insurance, packing, loading, delivery and claims procedures.
Arrange to transfer school records. Transfer your bank accounts.
Request records from doctors, dentists, eyeglass prescriptions, dental x-rays and vaccinations.
Clean out closets; get rid of unwanted clothing and items. Hold a garage sale.
Decide if you want your furniture, rugs and draperies cleaned or repaired.
Check with your homeowner's insurance policy to see if your possessions are covered during your move.
If your possessions are not covered during a move, ask your preferred mover for a valuation quote.
Get change-of-address forms from the post office. Notify the post office, relatives, friends, charge accounts, subscriptions and past employer for your W-2.
Make any motel or other reservations. Make arrangements for your pets. Have your car serviced for the trip. Make arrangements to move your plants.
Pay existing bills. Close out local charge accounts. Cancel newspaper.
Check on items that might be at the photo shop, bank safe deposit box, neighbor's house, on lay away or in the repair shop.
Set a date to cancel utilities and to have them connected at your new home. Get refunds and deposits forwarded to the new address.
Collect or buy boxes, tape, rope, labels, furniture pads, mattress covers and other moving supplies. Record expenses incurred in moving.
If the mover is packing your goods, arrange to have the packing done one or two days before loading.
If you'll be packing yourself, start packing items that aren't used often.
Remember you are responsible for the contents. Try to keep each box under 30 pounds. Heavy items in small boxes. Light items in large boxes. Fragile items need to be marked "Fragile". When you pack, mark all boxes as to where they are going in your new home. Tape shut the bottom and top of boxes.
Mirrors and wall hangings need to be down from walls before the move. Loose items need to be taped. Nothing hazardous or flammable...no aerosol cans.
Give away or dispose of perishable foods before your move. Defrost and dry refrigerators and freezers.
Disconnect and prepare all appliances, stereos, computers and any other electronic equipment.
Arrange for cash and traveler's checks for the trip and payment for the mover. Set aside jewelry, documents, money, and valuable items to carry with you.
To save time and money, have all beds and frames dismantled. Take mirrors off of dressers. Pressed wood furniture should be dismantled before you move. Take legs off of tables when possible. Tie down convertible couches. You may want to let the moving crew roll up carpets and put mattresses in bags.
Sketch out the floor plan of your new home to determine placement of furnishings.
The day before your move, pack a box of things you'll need as soon as you arrive at your new home and have that box loaded last or take it with you.
After all is nearly loaded, take a final tour of your home with the truck driver to make sure the movers didn't overlook anything.
While the shipment is in transit, keep in contact with the mover's agent. Be prepared to pay the driver before your goods are unloaded. This is a Federal requirement in most interstate moves.
You need to be at the origin and at the destination when loading and unloading of truck is taking place. Be on hand to answer questions and give directions.
Note on the inventory any damaged boxes or obvious damage to unboxed items before you sign. This is necessary to process claims.