Preparing For Your Move
At All Service Moving, we understand that the process of moving to a new home can feel overwhelming. Even with hired help, some personal organization must be administered in order to get the job done.
Starting with a month before your move and guiding you through your moving day, we’ve outlined a few important moving tips for you to follow. We have also included some helpful packing advice, like moving pets and plants, that will help you navigate the transition into your new residence.
1 Month Before Moving
- Submit a Change of Address form with USPS.
- Submit a Change of Address form with the IRS.
- Make arrangements with a moving company or reserve a rental truck.
- If necessary, make travel arrangements with airlines, car rental agencies, or hotels.
- Transfer any memberships for gyms, churches, clubs, or other civic organizations.
- Obtain medical and dental records, x-rays, and prescription information. Request referrals from your doctors and dentist.
- Check into the laws and requirements of your new city regarding home-based businesses, professional certifications, licenses, and any other local laws that might be applicable to you.
- Take inventory of your belongings before they’re packed in case you need to file an insurance claim later. If possible, take pictures or videotape your belongings. Record serial numbers of all electronic equipment.
- Make arrangements for transporting and relocating your pets.
- Start using up food items in your current home so that you have less to pack and can avoid throwing most of it out.
1-2 Weeks Before Moving
- Inform electric, disposal, water, utility, phone, cable, and any mail subscription companies of your move.
- Confirm any travel reservations.
- Reserve your building’s elevator if you are moving to or from an apartment.
- Clean all area rugs and have them wrapped for moving.
- Plan ahead for the special needs and travel plans of any infants or children.
- Collect valuables from your safe deposit box and make copies of any important documents in preparation to personally transport or mail them to your new residence.
- Confirm that you will be covered through your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy during the time of your move.
- Defrost your freezer and refrigerator. Place deodorizer inside to control any odors.
- Inform a close friend or relative of your travel route and schedule so that you can be reached if needed.
On Moving Day
- Double-check your closets, drawers, shelves, attic, and garage to be sure they are empty.
- Transport any important documents, money, and jewelry yourself (or use registered mail).
After Arriving at Your New Home
- Update the DMV and your car insurance company with your new address.
- Revise your will and other legal papers with your current information to avoid longer probate and higher legal fees.
- Inform your bank and any credit card companies of your new address.
- Provide your employer with your new address.
- Keep boxes, marking pens, bubble wrap, newspaper, tissue paper, packing tape, scissors, and a tape measure on hand.
- Use durable boxes and containers that can be secured tightly. Purchase special boxes for dishes and wardrobe items.
- Pack audio-video equipment in their original boxes, if you have them. Label cables and tighten transit screws. If removing screws, tape them to the objects they are removed from.
- Avoid loading more than 50 pounds into one box.
- Label each box indicating which room it should go in, whether it is fragile, and if it should be loaded last so that it will be unloaded first.
- Cushion the inside of your boxes with bubble wrap, newspaper, or tissue. Save room by using towels and blankets to wrap fragile items.
- Pack books tightly in small boxes.
- Have rugs and curtains cleaned ahead of time and leave them wrapped for the move.
- Pack any medicines in leak-proof containers.
- Carry all valuables with you.
- Check with your local U.S. Department of Agriculture for regulations regarding moving plants from one state to another. (Some states have restrictions on certain plants to prevent importing bugs or pests that can destroy crops.)
1-2 Weeks Before You Move
- Prune plants in preparation for packing them. Consult online resources for instructions on specific types.
1 Week Before You Move
- Place your plants in a black plastic bag along with a bug/pest strip.
- Close the bag and place it in a cool area overnight in order to kill any pests.
The Day Before Your Move
- Place the plants in cardboard containers and hold them in place with dampened newspaper or packing paper.
- Use paper to cushion the leaves and place a final layer of wet paper on top in order to keep them moist.
On The Day Of Your Move
- Set the boxes aside and label them “DO NOT LOAD” so they won’t be taken on the moving truck.
- Close the boxes and punch air holes in the top before loading them into your car.
- If you move during a warmer season, park your car in a shaded area. If your move takes place during the winter, park in a sunny spot.
- Unpack the plants as soon as possible. Remove them through the bottom of the box to avoid breaking the stems.
- Do not expose the plants to too much sunlight at first. Gradually introduce them to more light.
Moving Garden Plants
- Research climate and soils in the region of your new home.
- If you are transporting seeds, gather and store them in an airtight container.
- If you are moving bulbs, dig them up during their natural dormant season. Pack them in a mixture of loose dry peat moss and vermiculite to provide a lightweight and protective transport medium.
- Sharpen the blades of clippers, lawn mowers, shears, and other garden tools, then apply a thin coating of household or motor oil to protect the paint and metal.
- Clean and disinfect rakes, hoes, and sprinklers. Household bleach can be used to disinfect a variety of items.
- Some plants can be dug up and replanted at your new residence. Check online resources for more information on transplanting garden plants.
Cats and dogs can be taken with you in your car if it’s a shorter move. If you transport them this way, remember to take the following items with you:
- Food and water
- A leash for letting your pet out of the car
- Newspaper or sheets to keep your car clean
Animals can get carsick and will require frequent stops along the way. Also, if you’re staying at a hotel, check ahead to see if they allow pets. Be sure to check if the city you’re moving to has any local requirements or restrictions on animals.
If you plan to ship your pet by air, make sure someone can meet them at the destination airport and take care for them until you arrive. Most kennels offer this service.
If you are flying to your new destination, your cat or dog can ride in the baggage compartment, in which case you will need the following items:
- Health certificate. Obtain this from your veterinarian.
- Pet container. The airline may have a special container available (or you can use your own as long as it complies with airline regulations).
- Medication. Your vet can provide medication to be given to your pet immediately before going to the airport.
- Your scent. Your pet can be comforted by having a piece of cloth with your scent on it.
Hamsters, birds, and other small animals can easily be transported in your car. To help keep the animals calm and quiet, cover any cages with a cloth. Also, make sure they have food and water available.
It can be very impractical and risky to move fish. Check with your local pet store for recommendations on moving your specific type of fish.
About Moving Companies
Consumer complaints against moving companies have been rising in recent years. Keep the following tips in mind in order to choose the right moving company and plan for a smooth transition to your new residence.
- Get an estimate from your moving company and make sure the amount is stated in the contract.
- Inquire about their on-time record and other complaints with the local Better Business Bureau or consumer complaints department.
- Movers are limited by law in regards to how much they can reimburse you for lost or damaged goods. To cover potential damage, check your existing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
- Inquire about expected gratuities for your moving team and make sure this is noted in the contract.
- A moving contract should include a guarantee of how many hours the job will take, allowing an overrun of no more than 10%.
- Inform your moving company of staircases, narrow driveways, or any other useful information that may help them plan ahead for your transition.
- Take an inventory of your belongings before you pack.
- Watch the loading and unloading process and examine all items carefully before signing your receipt upon completion of the move.
Protecting the Environment
The following tips will to help you protect the environment and reduce your carbon footprint before, during, and after your move.
- Sweep instead of hosing down any driveways.
- Use sand or kitty litter instead of salt on icy sidewalks.
- Minimize paved surfaces on your property and retain as much vegetation as possible.
- Use water-based products rather than solvent-based.
- Reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides by using mulch and organic fertilizers instead.
- Mow your lawn frequently to increase grass shoot density.
- Rinse disposable diapers before throwing them away.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
- Recycle cardboard boxes after unpacking.
- Use phosphate-free laundry detergent.
- Recycle whenever possible.
- Keep your car tuned and serviced regularly.
- Recycle and dispose of oil safely.
- Wash your car on grass.
- Keep a trash container in your vehicle to prevent littering.
- Inquire with the Solid Waste Division in your county for disposal instructions for non-recyclable and non-hazardous waste.
- Check with your county’s Solid Waste Recycling Division for instructions on disposing of recyclables.
- Check the Solid Waste / Hazardous Wastes Division in your county for instructions on the disposal of paints, oil, pesticides, dyes, and coolants.