Planning a move can be a difficult and stressful process, but the actual day of your move can be downright overwhelming. Knowing what you need to get done -- and in what order -- will help to put your mind at ease when the big moving day arrives.
To keep moving chaos at bay, here is a moving day checklist to guide you through the process. Many of the items can be done ahead, so do yourself a favor and get organized in advance. Come moving day, you will be ready to handle the whole ordeal, without worry or distraction.
1. Clearly Mark and Set Aside Items You Don't Want Loaded
This will remind you to tell the driver what not to load as you conduct your preload walk-through. Make sure your important paperwork pertaining to the move doesn't get packed and shipped with your household goods.
2. Prepare with Children
Have the kids pack a box of their "special" items, things they'll want to have nearby as soon as you arrive at your new home. You might also consider allowing your child to help fill the box of special items to make them feel like they are part of the move. Point this box out to the driver so that it's one of the first to be unloaded.
3. Dump Trash and Flammable Items
Eliminate as much trash as you can before moving day. Last-minute garbage will inevitably build up the day prior to and the day of loading. Try making a deal with a neighbor to use their trash container for your last-minute debris.
Many items that are considered flammable are not going to be loaded by the driver and crew. Understand what these items are so that you are not stuck trying to get rid of them at loading time. If you are uncertain what items can't be loaded, ask your estimator for a list. Because movers can't transport most household cleaners, they will be available for you to use throughout the day. Also, remember to remove items from inaccessible areas like crawl spaces or attics.
4. Reserve Your Spot
If you live in a congested area, recruit some friends and park all of your vehicles one after another in a space close to your home and do not move them until the truck arrives. The closer the truck can get to your house, the better your chances are of not incurring an additional charge.
- Move potted plants and planters from the front porch, walkways and driveways.
- Remove all door and floor mats.
- Remove all rugs. The crew will protect the floors with a specially designed floor covering that does not slip.
- Remove low-hanging items such as wind chimes or hanging plants.
- Disconnect the spring on the screen door so that it stays open during the loading process.
- Whether or not the moving company packed for you, clear a safe walkway for moving to and from the moving truck.
6. Point Out Special Items
Set these items aside the day before the move. Then, once the mover arrives, point out items that are most special to you during the walk-through. All your items will be handled professionally, but take a moment to show them which ones need the most special care. Also, point out the boxes you would like to have unloaded first, if they are not going into storage. These boxes may include kitchen and bathroom items or your children's toys.
- Keep water and pop on hand for yourself and the crew. On hot summer days, provide Gatorade or some type of sports drink. These men and women work hard handling your most important possessions. A cool drink can really help.
- Advise the driver and crew where to locate the drinks and food so that they do not have to ask each time.
- Advise the driver and crew which restroom you want them to use.
8. Decide on Tipping
Should you? It is completely up to you. Many individuals do tip the driver and let the driver decide what portion is appropriate to distribute to the crew. You decide!
9. Prep Your Movers
Make sure you understand all the paperwork before the driver departs for your new home. If there is something that is confusing to you, ask your driver to explain it before you sign it.
Provide the driver with your destination contact information. Take down any information the driver can provide, such as their cell phone, pager and satellite tracking information. Ask the driver if your shipment is the last they will be loading. Find out when the last shipment goes onto the trailer. This will give you an indication as to when they will be departing for your new home. Ask the driver about his/her plans for delivering your items. Find out as many details as you can prior to the driver leaving your residence.
If the driver attempts to give you a delivery date and time, keep in mind that it is really only an estimate at the time of loading. Many factors can change the schedule for the driver, so try to remain flexible. Ask the driver to call you with changes so that you can adjust your plans accordingly. If you have a delivery spread (a sequence of two or more days that your shipment can be delivered on and still be considered on time), understand that your goods can and may be delivered on any one of those days.
10. Make One Final Sweep
Take one last sweep of the house before the driver leaves. Look through all closets and shelves, the garage, the attic, the crawl space, your storage unit, under the stairs, on the walls and any other place things may be hiding. You do not want to find out, after the driver has left, that something was left behind.