Preparing for a move can be overwhelming, so we developed this checklist to help in your planning.
6 Weeks before “Move-Out Day”
Start getting the details of your move organized as soon as you can.
Create a “move information” file. Using a brightly colored organizer folder with interior pockets makes it easy to store important information and collect receipts for moving-related expenses.
Ask the Internal Revenue Service for information about tax deductions on moving expenses and what receipts you’ll need to keep.
Contact your insurance agent to transfer property, fire, auto and medical insurance.
When organizing dental and medical records, be sure to include prescriptions, eyeglass specifications and vaccination records.
Contact any clubs or associations you are associated with for information on transferring, selling or ending your memberships.
Wills, stock certificates and other one-of-a-kind items (jewelry, photos, home videos) are difficult or impossible to replace. Plan to carry them with you instead of packing them.
Make personal travel arrangements (flights, hotel, rental cars, etc.) for your family. Keep you plans as flexible as possible to accommodate any schedule changes or delays.
For anything you’ve outgrown or just don’t use, consider having a garage sale. Make sure to pick a date at least two weeks before the move and advertise it locally. Think about teaming up with neighbors who want to sell some of their old belongings, and plan a neighborhood “super sale.”
Start getting acclimated to your new community. Contact the Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau to request information on schools, parks and recreation, community calendars and maps.
Create a floor plan of your new home, and begin thinking about where you’ll want to place furniture. Advance planning eases the stress of making major decisions when your furniture arrives at your new home.
If you have any questions that this move planner doesn’t address, ask your agent for details about our toll-free “24-hour Answerline”.
3 Weeks before “Move-Out Day”
Talk to your agent and decide how much packing you will handle by yourself, if any. Leave the big items for us. Because our packers are specially trained professionals, it’s a good idea to let us do everything we can to ensure the safety of your possessions.
Make sure to notify your agent if you add or subtract items for your planned household goods shipment or if there are any changes in the dates of your move.
If you have young children, arrange for a baby-sitter to watch them on moving day. Since you’ll be concentrating your efforts on the move, a sitter can keep your children occupied and make sure they remain safe during the busy loading process.
In the garage, clear off your worktables, and place rakes, shovels, and hoes in one location.
You will need to carry valuable jewelry with you. If you’ve hidden any valuables around the house, be sure to collect them before leaving.
Animals can’t be moved in a moving van. If you’re not taking your pets by car, make other transportation arrangements. Because of states require up-to-date health certificates and rabies inoculations, it’s a good idea to take your pets to the veterinarian prior to the move to ensure that you have the proper documents.
Some state laws prohibit the moving of house plants. Consider giving your plants to a friend or a local charity.
Whether your mover moves your car on a van or a car carrier, there’s no simpler, safer way to have your car transported to your new home.
While sorting through your belongings, remember to return library books and anything else you have borrowed. Also remember to collect all items that are being cleaned, stored or repaired (clothing, shoes, furs, watches, etc.).
“Accessorial service” refers to all we do for you during the move besides just loading, driving and unloading. We can take care of everything: piano-moving, unusual handling requirements, packing, unpacking, and storage. Ask your agent for pricing information.
2 Weeks before “Move-Out Day”
Make final packing decisions. Start preparing for the move those items you don’t use often.
Clean and clear your home, including closets, basements and attics.
Dispose of flammables, such as fireworks, cleaning fluid, matches, acids, chemistry sets, aerosol cans, paint, ammunition and poisons such as weed killer.
Plan meals that will use up the food in your freezer.
Have your automobile serviced if you’re traveling by car.
Transfer all current prescriptions to a drugstore in your new town.
Thousands of people leave town without clearing their safety deposit boxes. Don’t be one of them. Call you bank to find out how to transfer your accounts as well.
Drain all the oil and gasoline from your lawn mower and power tools to ensure safe transportation. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions.
Tape and seal all non-toxic, non-flamable cleaning fluids in plastic bags.
Schedule appliance disconnection and preparation. Your agent can give you advice about who to contact.
Make sure to back up all your computer files on a separate disk before moving. Consider taking the backup and other diskettes with you in the car, since software is delicate and sensitive to temperature extremes. Remember — you must also disassemble and disconnect your computer system prior to “move-out” day.
Send change-of-address cards to national newspapers and magazines. Cancel delivery of local papers and settle your accounts.
Decide if you need to store anything. Ask your agent about sealing your belongings into a sturdy pallet in a safe, dry warehouse. If storage is needed, we can deliver the stored items directly the the agent’s warehouse in your new town. Your agent can arrange everything.
1 Week before “Move-Out Day”
This is your week to tie up loose ends. check back through this Move Planner to make sure you haven’t overlooked anything.
Since you will want to have your utilities (electric, gas, phone, etc.) on during moving day, arrange to have them disconnected from your present home the day after your scheduled move-out.
Call ahead to have utilities connected at your new home the day before or the day of your scheduled move-in.
Take the “Do Not Load” stickers supplied by your agent and place them on all the things you want to take with you. Then, since the last items loaded are the first items unloaded, put the “Load Last” stickers on things you will need to use as soon as you get to your new home. The “Fragile” stickers should be place on items that need special care.
Pack your suitcases and confirm your personal travel arrangements (flights, hotel, rental cars, etc.) for your family. Try to keep your plans as flexible as possible in the event of an unexpected schedule change or delay.
Make it clear which items you’ll take yourself, so the movers won’t have any questions.
Protecting your valuables is made easier with your agent’s full range of protection programs. Ask your agent to explain each of the comprehensive full-value protection options for your shipment, including the “Relocation Insurance.”
Make sure your agent knows the address and phone number where you can be reached until you get into your new home.
Empty, defrost and clean your refrigerator and freezer and clean your stove, all at least 24 hours before moving to let them air out. Try using baking soda to get rid of any odors.
Prepare a “Trip Kit” for moving day. This kit should contain the things you’ll need while your belongings are in transit.
We use computer-assisted dispatching to track your shipment. High-technology service like this helps us keep your move on time and safe. Because our agents are so confident in their service abilities, they offer a program that guarantees they’ll deliver your shipment on time. Eligibility for this program will vary with the season and the size of your shipment.
Strip your beds, and make sure the bedding goes into a “Load Last” box.
Make sure to be on hand when the movers arrive. It’s important that an adult be authorized to take your place if you are unable to remain or be present while the movers are there. Let your agent know to whom you have given this authority. Be sure that your chosen representative knows exactly what to do, and which valuation program and amount you have selected. Remember — this persona may be asked to sign documents obligating you to charges.
Confirm the delivery date and time at your new address. Write directions to your new home for the van operator, provide the new phone number, and include phone numbers where you can be reached in transit. Make sure to take along the destination agent’s name, address, and telephone number.
When the van operator arrives, review all details and paperwork. Accompany the driver as he or she inspects and tags each new piece of furniture with an identifying number. These numbers, along with a detailed description of your goods and their condition at the time of loading, will appear on the inventory.
It is your responsibility to see that all of your goods are loaded, so remain on the premises until loading is completed.
Since you’ll probably want to clean before the furniture is unloaded off the truck, make sure your vacuum is packed last, so it can be unloaded first.
Please leave your phone connected throughout moving day. After the van leaves and you finish last-minute calls, be sure to pack the phone in one of your suitcases for easy access when you get to your new home.
Stay with your home until the last item is packed. Make a final inspection before you sign any paperwork (Inventory, Bill of Lading, etc.).
One Last Check
Light switches turned off?
Furnace/air conditioner shut off?
Water shut off?
All utilities arranged for disconnection?
Windows and exterior doors shut and locked?
Old house keys and garage door openers surrendered to the new occupants?
Have you left anything?
The van operator will contact you or the destination agent 24 hours prior to the expected arrival time. This allows time to locate you and arrange for unloading. If for some reason you cannot be reached, it is then your responsibility to contact the destination agent.
Be sure you’re there when the movers arrive. Plan to stay around while they unload in case they have any questions. If you cannot be there personally, be sure to authorize an adult to be your representative to accept delivery and pay the charges for you. Inform the destination agent of your chosen representative’s name. Your representative will be asked to note any change in the condition of your goods noted on the inventory at the time of loading, and to note any missing items at the time of delivery.
Have payment on hand for your moving charges. Unless other billing arrangements were made in advance, payment is required upon delivery. Personal checks are not accepted.
Check to make sure the utilities have been connected and follow up on any delays.
Make sure your phone is connected. Ideally, you should have the phone company hook it up the day before “Move-In Day.”
Confine your pets to an out-of-the-way room to help keep them from running away or getting agitated by all of the activity.
It’s a good idea to review your floor plan so you can tell the movers where to place your furniture and appliances. Plan to be available to direct them as they unload.
Your kids will probably want to help. We appreciate the thought, but if possible, it’s a good idea to get a baby-sitter to supervise the children during the unloading process.
Complete unpacking service is available but must be arranged in advance. Limited unpacking and removal of cartons may be requested on “Move-In Day.”
Clean your house as much as you can before the moving van arrives.
To prevent possible damage, televisions, stereos, computers and other electronic equipment and major appliances should not be used for 24 hours after delivery allowing them to adjust to room temperature.
Examine everything as it’s unloaded, so you can note its condition on the driver’s copy of the Inventory Form. By signing the inventory sheet, you are acknowledging receipt of all items listed. Personally document any loss or damage on the Inventory Form and immediate report this information to the agent at destination.
Always reference your “Order for Service” number of your Bill of Lading when you call us with questions or concerns.
On “Move-In Day,” you will be asked to sign the following paperwork:
Inventory of Goods – Prepared prior to loading, this document is a description of the condition of your belongings. You’ll be asked to sign it to acknowledge receipt of your goods upon unloading.
Bill of Lading – This is the shipping document that establishes the legal terms of the service.
Pack/Unpack Certificate – This is used to verify the “accessorial services” we performed during your move. Please examine it carefully before you sign it, making sure that you understand what you are being charged for.